Crypto good? Crypto bad? There are so many opinions out there, but in our modern, connected, so-called post-truth world it is all too easy to be led down a blind alley by seemingly knowledgeable online sources which are absolutely valueless in the long run. So in the run-up to the X8 ICO/TGE it makes sense to cast the net a little wider and look at a few differing perspectives on the subject of blockchain/crypto so as to offer our potential contributors some different input whilst ensuring that the sources remain reputable. This is the second in a series of articles looking at various points of view.

In the last article we talked about game-changers. So how is this game changing? Well, step by step, there are unambiguous messages from institutional and even state players that blockchain is reaching a new level of respectability. In fact, in many cases, blockchain is now being regarded as a solution and not a problem by leading players who would not have even looked near blockchain a very short time ago. Let’s look at one example.

Governments and financial authorities are, one by one, realising that the blockchain train has already rolled out of the station and they are urgently looking for ways to either hop on or even open their own branch line on the crypto network.

Estonia has been at the forefront of the e-economy since its so-called Tiger’s Leap (Tiigrihüpe) in the 1990s which was followed by the introduction of secure remote online access for ministers to cabinet meetings in the 2000s and the introduction of e-Residency in 2014. On 21 August this year there was an announcement from the official e-Residency Blog that Estonia is considering the proposal of issuing its own Estcoin for the use of e-residents.

“e-Residency is now creating a new borderless digital nation where many opportunities provided by traditional nations can be offered entirely online to anyone, anywhere. As Estonian President Kaljulaid recently explained, we must keep innovating to ensure that governments remain relevant in the digital era.”

This proposal is not yet official policy but it has been mooted at government level and has been deemed worthy of public debate. The blog goes on, “Just like e-Residency, cryptocurrencies have evolved from a niche idea into an increasingly normal part of modern life for people everywhere in the world because they offer real solutions to real problems. Several countries have begun experimenting with the introduction of their own digital currencies and China has even developed a prototype cryptocurrency that could one day be put into circulation. However, Estonia has a clear advantage in this area due to its advanced digital infrastructure and its e-Residency programme. No other country has come close to developing both the technology and the legal frameworks that would enable them to introduce and securely manage tradable crypto assets globally. It has understandably taken time for all governments to understand and embrace cryptocurrencies as they have a duty to address major challenges, such as the risk of money laundering. In the long term, however, governments may have no option but to (literally) accept cryptocurrencies.” Bold words and a fairly clear statement of intent. Actually this is probably the most mainstream position taken by any government channel at all. In this period when Estonia holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU this statement of intent takes on even greater significance. The proposed aim of Estcoin would be to “enable Estonia to invest in new technologies and innovations for the public sector, from smart contracts to Artificial Intelligence, as well as make it technically scalable to benefit more people around the world. Estonia would then serve a model for how societies of the future can be served in the digital era. In addition, a large proportion of the funds could be used as a community-run VC fund on behalf of investors. The money could then be used to support Estonian companies, including those established by other e-residents.” That all sounds fairly principled.

This is a long way from the trajectory followed by X8 but the ultimate aims are not mutually exclusive. X8 wishes to add a measure of stability and regulation to the concept of entering and exiting the cyrptocurrency sphere. The business plan does not envisage taking on Bitcoin but it does look to create fiat-equivalence in terms of maximising the means towards ultimate stability. It also does not envisage creating a core group of individuals who will become as rich as Croesus unlike some recent ICOs! The Estcoin originators can note a lot from the conduct of the X8 ICO/TGE as we at X8 can note much from the thoughts of the Estonians. We intend to watch that space.

We share more perspectives tomorrow.

Phil Lawrence

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