The President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, had some strong words for the tiny European nation of Estonia, which has proposed the issuing of an ethereum based token for their 20,000 e-residents.
Speaking at a press conference, Draghi stated that “the currency of the euro zone is the euro,” before adding in no unclear terms:
“I will comment on the Estonian decision: no member state can introduce its own currency.”
Estonia is seen as having the most technologically advanced civil service on earth. They have created a global e-residency programme that allows you to establish a business in the country and thus access the European market.
That project comes with a digital identity card which has been turned into an ethereum wallet too. Its director has proposed an ICO for the project, with the funds to be used in service of the 20,000 e-residents as well as a state fund of sorts.
It would come with a token, called estcoin, which would probably be accepted by the e-residency programme in payment for their services.
The European Central Bank, however, is now stating they can not do so, but it’s unclear just how much authority they have over the sovereign nation of Estonia.
That ancient land has cultural ties with neutral Finland and has seen occupation by most of its neighbors, including Russia and Germany.
Their rapid digitization is seen as a response to perceived Russian aggression in recent years, but Draghi’s strong words may turn their attention to the other neighbor, Germany.
That country is seen as in charge of Europe and the Euro in particular. It has benefited from it considerably at the expense of, some say, southern countries like Greece and Italy.
The latter is apparently considering “government issued small-denomination, interest-free bonds to pay suppliers as a way to circumvent a ban on currencies other than the euro,” according to reuters, which brought context for Draghi’s strong remarks.
Estonia is currently seeking comments online on their proposed ICO. If Germany does truly prohibit them, then they might follow the way of Britain, another country that is generally seen to have had great foresight as far as this space is concerned.
Not least because UK is known to stand up for their little friends. So it remains to be seen what Estonia’s response will be to the unequivocal remarks of Draghi.