Best Bitcoin Exchange for Estonia
Estonia is the global pioneer of the digital revolution: citizens can use an electronic ID card to go online to vote and deal with administrative formalities, Internet companies such as Skype or the online money transfer service Transferwise were launched in the small state in the Baltic States. The latest idea from Estonia: in addition to the euro, introduce a crypto currency called Estcoin, which will make it even easier for companies from all over the world to do business there.
The Estcoin is only to be used within the framework of the so-called e-residence, which was introduced in 2014, and not as a means of payment in shops, as the head of the e-residence programme, Kaspar Korjus, explains. The e-residence is a digital identity card that gives the owner access to numerous government services via the Internet. It is aimed at entrepreneurs from all over the world who can do business in Estonia and thus in the EU. The project aims to turn the small state into a global superpower when it comes to electronic business – there are already 28,000 e-residence owners.
“We don’t want to offer an alternative currency to the euro,” Korjus assured a blog entry in December. But he also hinted that one way is to tie the value of the currency to the euro. “The Euro-Estcoins in this community could facilitate trade worldwide,” he promoted the project. Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank (ECB), reacted cautiously to the idea from Estonia – he stressed that no crypto currency of one’s own should be introduced within a country of the euro zone. The reactions in the country are also mixed.
Estonia’s central bank, the Estonian Bank, announced: “The only legal money in Estonia and the euro zone is the euro”. Ingrid Mitt, the bank’s spokeswoman, stated that the institution had not been consulted in advance. It’s not a government proposal, Mitt explained – although the e-residence is indeed an official programme from Tallinn. Local media quote the head of the bank, Ardo Hanssen, warning that crypto currencies are “very risky”. Estonia’s Ministry of Finance was more unbiased. “We fully welcome the e-residence team’s move,” said Siim Sikkut, Deputy Secretary General for Communications and Official Information Systems.
According to Korjus, the e-residence chief, the model provides that the currency works independently of banks. Instead, the transactions in the digital currency are to be processed via a so-called block chain: The technology introduced in 2009 is a method of transmitting information in which the data is cryptographically encrypted decentrally. The data of the world’s best-known digital currency, the Bitcoin, is also linked to each other via such a block chain. The crypto currency was invented in 2009 and was intended to create a currency independent of states, central banks and other financial institutions.
The Bitcoin hype also has something to do with the intense debate about a possible Estonian digital currency: The Bitcoin has reached a rate of almost 20,000 dollars in recent weeks, attracting investors from all over the world. Korjus also has big plans: With the help of the e-residence he wants to make the country the center for investments in digital currencies worldwide. Sikkut of the Ministry of Finance also supports this. Although no concrete decision on the Estcoin has yet been made, the possibilities described by Korjus are being seriously considered.
Location, size and population
Estonia has an area of 45,339 km². With 29 inhabitants per km² (Germany: 231) it is one of the least populated countries in Europe. Of the approximately 1.4 million people living here, 70% are Estonians and 25% Russians, including many “non-citizens” without citizenship.
Capital city and world cultural heritage
The Estonian capital Tallinn was officially called Reval until 1918. Situated at the Gulf of Finland, the city received the Lübeck city charter in 1248 and has been a Hanseatic city since 1284. Tallinn is considered to be the best preserved medieval town in northern Europe, and the old town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was named European Capital of Culture in 2011. Tallinn has 430,000 inhabitants. Almost every third Estonian lives there.
Landscape with lots of water
Almost half of the country is covered with forest, there are more than 1,400 lakes and 7,000 rivers. The forests are home to 700 bears and 12,000 moose. One fifth of Estonia also consists of swamps. The most common tree is the birch, which is sung about in many folk songs and is a national symbol. Estonia also has over 2,000 islands, most of which are uninhabited.
Midsummer and white nights
Because Estonia is closest to the northern tropic of the sun, the country has “White Nights” at the summer solstice. As everywhere in Scandinavia, midsummer – Estonian: Jaanipäev – is celebrated here: with St. John’s fire, music, dance and food and many other customs.
Language with many vowels
Estonian belongs to the group of Finno-Ugric languages and is closely related to Finnish, but not to Latvian and Lithuanian. As in Finnish, there are many vowels, for example the Estonian calls a night he worked a lot “Töö-öö”. There are 14 cases in Estonian, but there are no grammatical sexes. There are many foreign and loan words from German in Finnish.
Not only in terms of language is Estonia closer to the Finns than its Baltic neighbours Lithuania and Latvia. Tallinn and Helsinki are only about 80 km apart. Estonia and Finland even share the melody of the national anthem, but sing different lyrics. This was practical under the Soviet government, which banned the singing of the Estonian national anthem of 1918. But on Finnish radio, which could also be received in Northern Estonia, the anthem was played every evening at the end of the programme.
Music and choral tradition
The Estonians are also known as the “singing nation”. In fact, the tradition of singing together was important for the formation of the nation, as was the “Singing Revolution” in 1988 in protest against the oppression of the Soviet Union. The first Estonian Singing Festival took place in 1869, today it is held every five years. The stage on the festival grounds in Tallinn holds a total of 15,000 singers (!) Since 1993 there has been an international folklore festival in Viljandi. The Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is world-famous, the conductor Neeme Järvi and his sons Paavo and Kristjan, both also conductors, have an international reputation.
For centuries Estonia was ruled by foreigners: Danes, Russians, Swedes, Poles or Germans. On 24 February 1918 Estonia achieved independence for the first time, but it did not last long.
In 1940, after the Hitler-Stalin Pact, Estonia was annexed to the Soviet Union, followed by mass deportations of Estonians to the Gulag. After the German invasion of 1941, Jews and Communists were persecuted and murdered. In 1944 the country fell back to the Soviet Union, 100,000 allegedly or actually anti-Soviet Estonians were abducted, tens of thousands fled to the West. In World War II Estonia lost a quarter of its population.
In 1991 Estonia finally became independent again. Estonia joined NATO and the EU in 2004, and the euro was introduced in 2011. Today, a strong national consciousness is a matter of course for the Estonians.
IT pioneers in Europe
Since 2000 there has been a legally guaranteed access to the Internet for all citizens in Estonia. 99% of the country is provided with free hotspots. There are computers at 700 public places such as post offices or libraries where the population can go online for free. Estonia was the first country in the world to introduce Internet voting in elections in 2005. When attacks on the country’s digital administrative software occurred in 2007, the NATO Cyber War Research Centre was set up in Tallinn.