Estonian Government is Building a Futuristic Digital Society Thanks to Blockchain
In an effort to get rid of bureaucracy and corruption from its very roots, the Estonian government has just implemented a ballsy project that will make the administration of its 1.3 million strong population much more streamlined.
Not only that, many economists also believe that by making use of a decentralized blockchain platform to oversee the nation’s public and private sectors, the Baltic country is all set to witness tremendous financial growth in the coming few months.
What’s All The Hype About?
For those unaware, Estonia has become the world’s first nation to create a unified platform that supports features like electronic authentication and digital signatures so as to facilitate paperless communication across the country’s various private and public companies.
However, with that being said, there are still some things that need to be done manually by the nation's citizens. For example, divorce proceedings as well as property transfers at the moment still need to be done in person— because the government has deemed such important events to be too crucial to be carried out online.
As a result of these restrictions, when documents in relation to these aforementioned events are being signed, all of the involved parties have to be present.
In regards to the government’s latest efforts, Marten Kaevats, Estonia's national digital adviser, said that the goal of this entire exercise was to empower citizens as well as to introduce a new level of transparency that has never been witnessed anywhere else on the globe before. Kaevats then went on to add:
“In an ideal world, in the case of an invisible government, when a new child is born neither of the parents would ever have to apply for anything: to get maternity leave, to get child support from the municipality, to get a kindergarten place, to put the name to the child. All of those different services would be delivered automatically.”
More On The Matter
Since its release, the Estonian population at large seems to have welcomed this latest digital system with open arms. During a showcase of the above mentioned digital offering, project manager Indrek Onnik pointed out that the record system keeps an accurate tab of crucial user data such as:
- High school grades
- Driving license records.
- Pet vaccination record
- Job History
- Credit Score
Talking about how this new system can revolutionize the way in which governments interact with their citizens, Onnik went on to say:
“To generate trust, you really have to have transparency. And that's why people have access to their own data. And that's why they can actually see if the government has used their own data.”
What’s Powering This System?
From a technical standpoint, we can see that Estonia’s new governance platform runs atop a software protocol known as ‘X-Road’. In its core essence, it comprises of a decentralized data exchange system that not only helps link native databases efficiently, but also makes sure than any outgoing info is digitally signed and encrypted.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that since its independence in 1991, this is the first time in its short history that the Estonian economy is booming— largely due to the success of it’s various blockchain/ cryptocurrency initiatives.
To elaborate on this point, we can see that as things stand, more than 99 percent of Estonia's banking transactions now take place digitally without the need of any physical accounting whatsoever (which is an impressive feat to say the least, especially when considering that Estonia has been independent for a little less than 30 years).
Trust Is The Key Element
With the new administrative system being widely accepted by the Estonian population at large, many blockchain developers are now wondering whether this governance platform can be used by larger countries as well. In regards to this question, Zvika Krieger, Head of Tech Policy at the World Economic Forum was recently quoted as saying:
“When you add in more people, more diverse stakeholders, more layers of government at the city, state, and local level, you are adding in exponentially more complexity.”
Over the course of the past few months, many news agencies from across the globe have been wondering as to how the Estonian government was able to convince its citizens about accepting such an adventurous project.
Here again, Krieger was quick to point out that:
“Estonians hate their politicians just as much as everyone else. But at least since the administration of the state works extremely well and efficiently, people trust the system.”