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MIT Technology Review

Estonia on its planned crypto-token: Don’t call it a currency

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Estonian government officials would like to make something clear: if the country develops a crypto-token, it will not be a national cryptocurrency.

The news: Bloomberg reports that Estonia will not peg its planned crypto-token, called Estcoin, to the euro or distribute it to all Estonian citizens. “We are not building a new currency,” Siim Sikkut, an official in charge of Estonia’s IT strategy, said in a local interview.

The backstory: Last year, Kaspar Korjus, managing director of Estonia’s “e-residency” program, floated the idea of issuing crypto-tokens via an initial coin offering. Noting that other countries are experimenting with their own digital currencies, Korjus said Estonia’s “advanced digital infrastructure” gives it a clear advantage. But the idea drew a sharp rebuke from European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, who said European Union member states cannot have their own currencies.

It’ll do what, now? The nation will keep developing Estcoin, but Sikkut says it will only be a “means for transactions inside the e-resident community.” Korjus tells Bloomberg that the details for “community Estcoin” have yet to be determined.