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.”