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Estonia, A Blockchain Model For Other Countries? - Invest In Blockchain

Estonia, A Blockchain Model For Other Countries? - Invest In Blockchain

Estonia, a Blockchain Model for Other Countries? The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and with it came independence for the small Baltic nation of Estonia. At the time, less than half of Estonias population had a telephone line, and its only independent contact with the outside world was through a secret mobile phone owned by the prime minister. Cut 20 years into the future and Estonia is a digital society like no other. Named the most advanced digital society in the world by Wired , its become a startup hub and an early adopter of blockchain technology. Estonia may also be on the brink of launching its own crypto token called the estcoin . As it turned out, the collapse of the Soviet Union provided Estonia with a blank slate that it has capitalized on to great effect. Collectively, Estonians ditched old analog systems and leapfrogged into a digital future at a much faster rate than any other country in the world. If youre curious to know the full history of how this happened, The Economist has an excellent article written about it. But that isnt our interest per se. In the following, well focus on exactly how Estonia is using blockchain technology and whether they can be considered a model for other countries. One of the key events behind Estonias current position as a leader in blockchain was their being the target of a cyber attack in 2007. In retrospect, this attack was somewhat inevitable. In the 1990s, Estonia rushed to join NATO and the EU, to some extent pitting itself against former Russian leadership. Following a controversial decision to remove a Soviet statue from a Tallin park, the Estonian parliament and several public services suddenly went offline in one of the biggest-ever DOS attacks. Most concluded the attack came from Russia. This was a wakeup call f Continue reading >>

Ksi Blockchain E-estonia

Ksi Blockchain E-estonia

KSI is a blockchain technology designed in Estonia and used globally to make sure networks, systems and data are free of compromise, all while retaining 100% data privacy. A blockchain is a distributed public ledger a database with a set of pre-defined rules for how the ledger is appended by the distributed consensus of the participants in the system. Due to its widely witnessed property, blockchain technology makes it also impossible to change the data already on the blockchain. KSI Blockchain scales to1012items of data every second With KSI Blockchain deployed in Estonian government networks, history cannot be rewritten by anybody and the authenticity of the electronic data can be mathematically proven. It means that no-one not hackers, not system administrators, and not even government itself can manipulate the data and get away with that. The e-Law system is an online database for the Estonian Ministry of Justice that allows the public to read every draft law submitted since February 2003. Built using blockchain technology, it is formally known as the Electronic Coordination System for Draft Legislation. Readers can see who submitted the legislation, its current status, and changes made to it as it passed through the parliamentary process. Once an act becomes law, it is published in the online state gazette Riigi Teataja, another searchable database that acts as an open legal library. A similar system used by Tallinn City Council makes it possible to follow all council sessions online, while city legislation and other documents are available on the municipal homepage. Projects such as these create an unprecedented level of transparency in the state, cut down on corruption, and encourage citizens to take an active interest in legislative affairs. To increase interna Continue reading >>

Estonian Blockchain-based Id Card Security Flaw Raises Issues About Identity Blogcyberlex

Estonian Blockchain-based Id Card Security Flaw Raises Issues About Identity Blogcyberlex

Estonian Blockchain-Based ID Card Security Flaw Raises Issues About Identity Canada , Estonia , European Union September 28 2017 On August 30, 2017, an international team of security researchers notified the Estonian government of a security vulnerability affecting the digital use of Estonian ID cards issued to around half of the Estonian population. Affecting 750,000 ID cards issued to a population of 1.3 million, the Estonian Information System Authority (RIA) has taken measures to restrict some of the ID cards security features until a permanent solution is found. While there appears to be no sign of unauthorized use (the vulnerability appears to have been a theoretical vulnerability) the discovery of the vulnerability comes as Estonia continues to advance its national e-Estonia initiative to bring its citizens into a digital ecosystem of public and private services built upon the security and authentication provided by the Estonian ID card. The e-Estonia initiative is notable for its technological innovation that currently makes Estonia a preeminent use case of blockchain technology and public-key cryptography in the delivery of government services. However, as this event shows, cybersecurity and privacy considerations must remain at the forefront of centralized security and authentication, especially in the case of multi-use identification cards. Since 2013, Estonian government registers have paired cryptographic hash functions with distributed ledger technology, allowing the Estonian government to guarantee its various records. The ID card unifies access to a host of services. Citizens can order prescriptions, vote, bank online, review school records, apply for state benefits, file their tax return, submit planning applications, upload their will, apply to serve Continue reading >>

Estonia E-residency & Blockchain Governance, Explained

Estonia E-residency & Blockchain Governance, Explained

Estonia E-Residency & Blockchain Governance, Explained Estonia is a small Baltic nation of 1.3 million people, but theyre leading a digital revolution in governance with the Estonia e-Residency program. Its a country where the state drives technological innovation, not just the private sector. Since 2007, theyve been working on proposals to digitize identity and citizenship. Today, every citizen of Estonia has their own ID card and PIN that links with their digital identity. Recently, in 2015, Estonia opened this digital identity system up to non-citizens. Anyone in the world can now apply to become an e-resident of Estonia. Being an e-resident doesnt confer citizenship, but it does allow you to open a bank account and start a business in Estonia. In the future, Estonia hopes to expand the capabilities of e-residency. In this article, well look at what e-residency entails, how to become an e-resident, and Estonias future plans for digital identity and blockchain-based governance. Estonia is well-known in the region as a tech and startup hub. Theyve been at the forefront of digitizing state services over the past few years. U.S. President Barack Obama, when visiting Estonia, remarked, With their digital IDs, Estonians can use their smartphones to get just about anything done online, from their childrens grades to their health records I should have called the Estonians when we were setting up our health care website. Citizens can use their ID cards to vote online and all government records are accessible online. Moreover, Estonian citizens control their data. They can choose to restrict access to various information in their personal profiles. The new e-residency program opens some of the functionality of citizen IDs to the entire world. The Estonian government calls the Continue reading >>

Welcome To The Blockchain Nation

Welcome To The Blockchain Nation

The worlds most advanced digital nation is helping entrepreneurs unleash the potential of blockchain technology. If you want a glimpse at the future potential of blockchain, visit Estonia . Ten years ago, our country gained the unenviable title of being the first in the world to experience a nationwide cyber attack. Although no data was compromised, the attackers sent large amounts of web traffic to overwhelm systems in an attempt to take them offline. This caused temporary disruption to a country that was already investing heavily in digital governance and emerging as a thriving startup hub, particularly for digital services. Skype was born here just five years earlier. As a result, the attack also served as a wake-up call for how the countrys digital infrastructure could be further secured through radical new technology. The longer term impact of the attack is that it helped Estonia develop into what is now widely considered to be the worlds most advanced digital nation. Today, almost all public services in Estonia are digitalised and accessed through secure digital identities that are provided to every citizen and resident. The technology behind this digital infrastructure is incredibly impressive. The Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and eID system is based on advanced encryption technology and includes 2-factor authentication. Data is decentralised, yet never duplicated and always shared securely thanks to the X-Road. You can find out more in this short video. One of the innovations that was integrated into several of these services is a distributed ledger that can never be erased or rewritten. This kind of ledger technology is now more commonly known as a blockchain and is more famous for its role in enabling cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum to operate w Continue reading >>

Estonia, The Digital Republic

Estonia, The Digital Republic

Itsgovernment is virtual, borderless, blockchained, and secure. Has this tiny post-Soviet nation found the way of the future? The Estonian government is so eager to take on big problems that many ambitious techies leave the private sector to join it. Itsgovernment is virtual, borderless, blockchained, and secure. Has this tiny post-Soviet nation found the way of the future? The Estonian government is so eager to take on big problems that many ambitious techies leave the private sector to join it. Audio: Listen to this story. To hear more feature stories, download the Audm app for your iPhone. Up the Estonian coast, a five-lane highway bends with the path of the sea, then breaks inland, leaving cars to follow a thin road toward the houses at the waters edge. There is a gated community here, but it is not the usual kind. The gate is lowa picket fenceas if to prevent the dunes from riding up into the street. The entrance is blocked by a railroad-crossing arm, not so much to keep out strangers as to make sure they come with intent. Beyond the gate, there is a schoolhouse, and a few homes line a narrow drive. From Tallinn, Estonias capital, you arrive dazed: trees trace the highway, and the cars go fast, as if to get in front of something that no one can see. Within this gated community lives a man, his family, and one vision of the future. Taavi Kotka, who spent four years as Estonias chief information officer, is one of the leading public faces of a project known as e-Estonia: a cordinated governmental effort to transform the country from a state into a digital society. E-Estonia is the most ambitious project in technological statecraft today, for it includes all members of the government, and alters citizens daily lives. The normal services that government is involved wi Continue reading >>

Blockchain Securing The Path Towards A Modern Identity

Blockchain Securing The Path Towards A Modern Identity

Blockchain securing the path towards a modern identity Blockchain technology is a solution, which will help secure digital identities, as it cannot be erased or adapted without leaving a record, making it very difficult to hack Your identity is not only a way to discern you, its a human right defined by the United Nations. International law exists to defend it and policies are built to protect individuality. As complicated as managing identities is across the world, identity is inherent to who we are and fundamental to society. It gives us access to healthcare and education, guarantees our right to vote, validates where we live and work, and grants us the freedom to self-expression. The methods governments use to record and recognise identity centre around physical documents, primarily focusing on paper birth certificates and passports a format that is impractical for daily use. In an age where technology encompasses services to make them more efficient, this method of identification seems archaic. Modernising identities could represent a large leap forward in positively impacting access to things if implemented correctly. Unlike many other countries, Estonia has begun to innovate around identity. The state now issues a digital identity, a chip-and-pin e-card designed to authenticate people. The countrys program, called e-Identity, allows its citizens to safely identify themselves and use e-services from a laptop, phone or anywhere with connectivity. And with more activity happening online than ever before, citizens can use their official digital signature on their ID-card, Mobile-ID or Smart-ID. >See also: Blockchain: Helping secure digital identities Combining this approach with digital data such as biometrics and identification numbers, opens the door to a large arr Continue reading >>

The Success Of Digital Identities In Estonia Shine Light On What Is Possible Through Blockchain Technology

The Success Of Digital Identities In Estonia Shine Light On What Is Possible Through Blockchain Technology

Estonia is considered to be the world leader of digital government, and the benefits that have come with digital governance are clear. After gaining independence in 1991 from the former Soviet Union, the baltic country of Estonia decided to take a new approach to government. With a total population of only 1.3 million people, Estonia ranks second of all countries on the social progress index for personal and political rights. The Estonian government has transformed its government to one of the most efficient in the whole world. There are numerous ways things that led to this, but all programs are focused around connectivity and access for everyone. Over 98% of the country's annual banking transactions are conducted online, as well as 95% of the countries taxes. The implementation of digital identities for every individual within society has allowed for unparalleled government efficiency and transparency. What can the citizen's digital identities be used for? An individual's digital ID can be used for nearly all transactions within the country, whether that be banking, taking public transport, medical record, ect. The success and popularity of the digital ID's are evident considering over 95% of Estonian citizens have a digital ID. The digital identities are available online, on mobile devices and through a physical card. The physical ID card is embedded with the individual's unique digital signature to verify and authenticate their identity, as well as requiring a personal PIN number of their choice. Instead of having to purchase ina ticket to board a subway, an individual would simply scan their card which would automatically transfer the necessary funds. Estonia introduced digital voting in 2005, and during the 2014 election over one third of ballots were submitted e Continue reading >>

Estonia Has Frozen Its Popular E-residency Id Cards Because Of A Massive Security Flaw

Estonia Has Frozen Its Popular E-residency Id Cards Because Of A Massive Security Flaw

Estonia has frozen its popular e-residency ID cards because of a massive security flaw Estonian citizens and overseas "e-residents" rely on digital ID cards for services like banking and online voting. Security researchers revealed the possibility of identity theft due to a security bug in September. Estonia has frozen the cards until their owners update to a new security certificate. A prominent security expert said ID cards pose a national security risk. Estonia has frozen the digital ID cards for its popular e-residency programme, two months after discovering a major security flaw that could enable identity theft. The ID cards are used by Estonian citizens and foreign "e-residents" and underpin services like banking, online voting, tax, medical records, and travel. The e-residency programme is also popular with British entrepreneurs who want to set up their company within the EU, particularly after the Brexit vote. According to Wired , more than 1,000 UK entrepreneurs have applied for the programme so far. Estonia has suspended any ID card issued between 16 October 2014 and 25 November 2017, until its owners have updated to a new security certificate. There's just one problem: everyone's trying to update their cards at once, and overseas e-residents have had error messages when trying to update. Estonia said it had initially prioritised security updates for residents who rely on the cards for banking and other everyday services, but that all e-residents could now access the bug fix. They have until the end of March 2018 to do so. Kaspar Korjus, managing director for the e-resident programme, wrote: "We are aware that many citizens, residents and e-residents have been receiving error messages due to the high volume of people updating at the same time. As a result, th Continue reading >>

Digital Identity In Estonia

Digital Identity In Estonia

Lets quickly set the record straight, Estonia does not use blockchain for national digital identity management (though it is used for other similar purposes, like electronic health records ). Estonia is on the cutting edge of digital government, and its adoption of blockchain is probably one of the most advanced in the world; but, it doesnt use blockchain for digital identity. In a great bit of investigative sleuthing, which included conversations with Estonias CIO, Dave Birch set the record straight in an article published in March 2017. Estonias digital identity system is perhaps the most technologically advanced solution in the world. It relies on best practice implementations of cryptography, hash functions, and merkle trees and through this high-security identity, citizens are able to safely and surely access digital public services. As the blockchain tech footprint expands across Estonian public services, its inevitable that blockchain services like will be integrated with the nations digital identity systems. Legal identities are of significant importance, enabling access to fundamental services like healthcare, education, and finance. As such, the integrity, certainty, and security of the nations pool of legal identities is of critical importance. With over 1.1 billion people across the globe lacking a legal identity, uncertain economic and political times, and data becoming harder to secure, we can expect blockchain to become part of the solution. Continue reading >>

Id Card E-estonia

Id Card E-estonia

Estonia has by far the most highly-developed national ID card system in the world. Much more than a legal photo ID, the mandatory national card also provides digital access to all of Estonias secure e-services. The chip on the card carries embedded files, and using 2048-bit public key encryption, it can be used as definitive proof of ID in an electronic environment. Here are some examples of how the ID-card is regularly used in Estonia: 5 daysper year saved with digital signatures legal travel ID for Estonian citizens travelling within the EU Thanks to the ID-card, Estonia has one of the worlds most advanced digital signature systems. To learn more about the ID-card, visit the ID-card webpage Find out, what are the costs on signing contracts in Your organization Mobile-ID allows people to use a mobile phone as a form of secure digital ID. Like the ID-card, it can be used to access secure e-services and digitally sign documents, but has the added advantage of not requiring a card reader. The system is based on a special Mobile-ID SIM card, which the customer must request from the mobile phone operator. Private keys are stored on the mobile SIM card along with a small application delivering the authentication and signature functions. Heres how a Mobile-ID is used to log into a secure site, for instance a bank account: The user clicks the Log in with Mobile-ID option on a supported website The phone beeps and displays a screen indicating that a connection is being made The user is prompted to enter a Mobile-ID pin code into the phone The screen on the phone disappears and the user gains access to the secure website As smart phones have become standard, having the Mobile-ID option will become increasingly handy, allowing users to vote, for instance, via a phones web browse Continue reading >>

E-residency New Digital Nation

E-residency New Digital Nation

Even though there are only a little over a million of us, thanks to Estonias capabilities, we can make ten million payments, perform ten million requests and sign ten million contracts in just ten minutes. Even ten times larger states cannot beat us. But the good news is that it is possible to join our exclusive club of digitally empowered citizens. Senior Editor of The Economist and 1st e-resident Estonias e-Residency is a game-changer. Anyone in the world can now apply for a rock-solid digital ID, giving them what Estonians have taken for granted for years: the ability to identify themselves online, to make binding agreements and to communicate securely. This turns the internet from a confusing Wild West into an environment where trustful interaction is frictionless and ubiquitous. e-Residency makes it easy for anyone in the world to invest in the innovative startup ecosystem in Estonia. Founding Partner of Draper Associates and DFJ The Estonian government has shown great forethought in creating the first virtual government, allowing all citizens of the world participate in the growth and business of Estonia. As we become more mobile and able to communicate across borders freely, geographic borders dissolve allowing us all to choose which government is right for us. Governments need to compete for the great minds, the capital, the businesses, and the citizens of the world. We believe no one should be held back from their entrepreneurial potential just because of where they live or where they choose to travel. Through e-Residency, a new digital nation is emerging with a population who share that vision of a borderless digital world for all. Were very thankful to all the pioneers and early adopters that are already benefiting from e-Residency, but were also really exci Continue reading >>

Estonia Plans To Build A Digital Country With Blockchain

Estonia Plans To Build A Digital Country With Blockchain

Estonia Plans to Build a Digital Country with Blockchain Editor-in-Chief at Disruptor DailyCas is a B2B Content Marketer and Brand Consultant who specializes in disruptive technology. She covers topics like artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, and big data, to name a few. Cas is also co-owner of an esports organization and spends much of her time teaching gamers how to make a living doing what they love while bringing positivity to the gaming community. Countries around the world are beginning to take a look at how they can incorporate blockchain into their operations and infrastructure. Some countries are taking an approach which could stifle innovation, such as Chinas ban on ICOs. Some countries are seeking to aid innovators in their advances, such as Japan, Estonia, and Dubai. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech can be applied to areas of government such as recordkeeping, infrastructure, and cross-border relations. Estonia is working with ChronoBank on the TokenEST program to create a digital country with digital ID and blockchain technology. Currently under development are three possible tokens: Community estcoin: This option would reward users who bring new users to the platform, allowing the e-residency program to grow. Euro estcoin: A token which would be tied to the euro in value. This could be used for payments, sending money, giving gifts, and cross-border remittance among other use cases. Identity estcoin: These tokens would be limited in number and non-fungible, tied to a specific user. Token holders could use these tokens to verify their identity, allowing the E-Country to significantly reduce the cost and time requirements of identity checks. New ID estcoins could be purchased for the cost of generating them on the network. Continue reading >>

The Mystery Of The Non-existent Estonian Digital Identity Blockchain: Solved!

The Mystery Of The Non-existent Estonian Digital Identity Blockchain: Solved!

The mystery of the non-existent Estonian digital identity blockchain: solved! Estonia. Land of saunas, shepherds and song festivals. I keep hearing about Estonia all of a sudden, and not for any of these reasons but because of the blockchain. At meetings and conferences, I keep hearing people talking about the Estonian national identity scheme that uses a blockchain. Just recently, for example, in the Harvard Business Review, I read that since 2007Estonia has been operating a universal national digital identity scheme using blockchain. via Blockchain Will Help Us Prove Our Identities in a Digital World I think this is a misinterpretation of the technical infrastructure of our neighbor to the north. The Estonian national digital identity scheme launched in 2002. Way back in 2007, my colleague Margaret Ford interviewed Mart Parve from the Estonian [email protected] Foundation in Consult Hyperions long standing Tomorrows Transactions podcast series ( available here ). Mart was responsible for using the smart ID service (both online and offline) to help Estonia develop its e-society. If you listen carefully to them talking, you will notice that they never mention the blockchain, which is unsurprising since Satoshis Nakamotos paper on the subject was not published until October 2008. This only the most recent example of what I see to be a virulent strain of blockchainitis, though. Another Estonian outbreak of the same disease occurred just before Christmas when I was invited along to a blockchain breakfast (seriously) at the Mother of Parliaments. After a while, the discussion moved on to the Estonian electronic identity system.I expressed some scepticism as to whether the Estonian electronic identity system was on a blockchain. The conversation continued. Then to my shame I lost Continue reading >>

Estonian Blockchain-based Id Card Security Flaw Raises Issues About Identity

Estonian Blockchain-based Id Card Security Flaw Raises Issues About Identity

Estonian Blockchain-Based ID Card Security Flaw Raises Issues About Identity On August 30, 2017, an international team of security researchers notified the Estonian government of a security vulnerability affecting the digital use of Estonian ID cards issued to around half of the Estonian population. Affecting 750,000 ID cards issued to a population of 1.3 million, the Estonian Information System Authority (RIA) has taken measures to restrict some of the ID cards security features until a permanent solution is found. While there appears to be no sign of unauthorized use (the vulnerability appears to have been a theoretical vulnerability) the discovery of the vulnerability comes as Estonia continues to advance its national e-Estonia initiative to bring its citizens into a digital ecosystem of public and private services built upon the security and authentication provided by the Estonian ID card. The e-Estonia initiative is notable for its technological innovation that currently makes Estonia a preeminent use case of blockchain technology and public-key cryptography in the delivery of government services. However, as this event shows, cybersecurity and privacy considerations must remain at the forefront of centralized security and authentication, especially in the case of multi-use identification cards. Since 2013, Estonian government registers have paired cryptographic hash functions with distributed ledger technology, allowing the Estonian government to guarantee its various records. The ID card unifies access to a host of services. Citizens can order prescriptions, vote, bank online, review school records, apply for state benefits, file their tax return, submit planning applications, upload their will, apply to serve in the armed forces, and fulfil around 3000 other fu Continue reading >>

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