Catalonia & Blockchain – Help from Estonia

While separatists and anti-Separatists meet in Catalonia, the rest of Europe follows this spectacle with some displeasure. Would it even be possible to split off? Wouldn’t they also have to leave the EU and wouldn’t that be fatal for the economy? Interestingly, Estonia could help out here with its advanced technology.

Independence
The situation in Spain should be clear from the recurring efforts to achieve independence. Especially since the referendum on 1 October, the media have been reporting more about the autonomous region of Catalonia.

Yesterday evening new interesting topics came to the attention: the blockchain and the Bitcoin secret

The newspaper El País yesterday published an article on the Bitcoin secret cooperation between Catalan politicians and Bitcoin secret experts from Estonia. Immediately afterwards the page became the target of a DDoS attack. Estonia is known for its state-of-the-art blockchain technology, which protects the administration in the country with its 1.3 million inhabitants and allows a lean, cheap and efficient state.

The eResidency program from Estonia (see our Bitcoin & Blockchain report) allows anyone to open a digital citizenship in Estonia and thus access services within the EU. Finns, Russians, Ukrainians and Britons make up the vast majority of eResidency users, but many Turks and Greeks have also signed up recently, explained Kaspar Korjus, Managing Director of the eResidency initiative.

How need digitizes states

While Estonia was only dependent on digital opportunities because of its heavy Soviet past, Catalonia is considering enforcing its independence by withdrawing power from the central bank. According to Dani Marco, director of the SmartCatalonia initiative, he was inspired several times by visits to Estonia. For Marco, bringing out his own digital currency would probably be the most important step towards independence.

Estonia itself wanted to launch a so-called “estcoin”, but the idea seemed so dangerous that even ECB President Mario Draghi felt personally drawn to an answer:

“No member state can introduce its own currency; the currency of the euro zone is the euro.

Should Catalonia successfully split off, the region would initially be a member of the euro zone, which would not rule out the possibility of a digital currency. In fact, according to El País, the chief developer of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, has been approached in order to support the Eastern Spaniards in their project. At the “Becon” in Barcelona, Buterin is said to have proposed an ICO that could be linked to the identities of the eResidency platform. This would secure the identities of the Catalans and establish a digital payment system independent of the Spanish central bank.

In the course of this rapid development, the effects of the blockchain on our society and politics are slowly becoming clear. In Greece, Eva Maili, then a politician and now a FinTech consultant, advocated a “Plan B” for Greek monetary policy. According to the International Business Times, the conversion of all fiat currencies into digital currencies was considered in Greece at the time. Even though the plan would not have been so easy to implement, Maili explained:

“Just look at what happened in Cyprus; you’re sometimes not safe from your own government.”

Bitcoin vending machines: Robocoin 2.0 and the news spy

The Bitcoin vending machine manufacturer Robocoin sets new standards with its new Robocoin 2.0. The Bitcoin vending machine with a completely new software and a revised hardware with additional functions is ready for the international rollout. With the announcement of Robocoin 2.0, the Bitcoin vending machine manufacturer has taken a big step towards its goal of making the Bitcoin more user-friendly for the masses, for people without a bank account to be able to offer a financial service.

Bitcoin “Banking” with the news spy

By repositioning itself as a “bank” with various “branches” rather than as a Bitcoin machine, Robocoin offers a range of online services to the news spy, brokers and normal customers. Robocoin is now represented in 13 countries. The company also offers a wallet service in addition to the Bitcoin vending machines or “branches”. The wallet can therefore be seen as a kind of Robocoin account and makes the news spy transactions at Bitcoin machines via QR code superfluous.

With increasing public confidence, the company assures that the Bitcoins in the Robocoin Wallet are safely stored. This is not least due to the fact that the wallets are stored with the latest Multi Sig technology and in an offline memory.

Another point is the long wait at the Bitcoin machine until the transaction has been confirmed by the blockchain. Robocoin has solved this problem with a feature that separates the transactions from the blockchain. This allows users to deposit and withdraw Bitcoins in real time.

International Payments

The Bitcoin dispenser can accept and issue 12 different currencies. Money can also be sent to people who just give an e-mail or a phone number. Even to people without a Robocoin account. The recipients only have to go to the nearest “branch” and withdraw the amount. If you look at Money Gram or Western Union with the immense transaction fees (500 billion USD turnover per year), the Bitcoin variant can be very interesting especially for workers who want to send money to their families.

“Our goal is to send money faster, friendlier, cheaper and easier than any other company in the world,” said Jordan Kelly, CEO of Robocoin. He also added:

“Robocoin is expanding the Bitcoin market by making it easier. No one needs to download digital wallets, store a private key or remember a public address anymore. The new technology promises secure storage, fast withdrawals and the easiest way to send money internationally.”

The Hardware
With the announcement of the new Robocoin Bitcoin machine, Robocoin has also announced the reduced price for the standard version. At the same time two new Bitcoin machines with special features concerning speed and safety were introduced.

With the introduction of the new Robocoin 2.0 Bitcoin machine, the company has reduced the price of the old standard version from 20,000 USD to 15,000 USD. At the same time, the company insures the highest security standards of the “old” version.