Catalonian officials have been seen visiting Estonia to seek help in creating their own e-residency program.
by Miguel Gomez, 27 October 2017
Amid all of the chaos surrounding Catalonia’s attempts to gain independence from Spain, a couple of technology experts are geeking it out on some digital solutions to a few of the region’s problems, including e-residency and a “national” cryptocurrency.
According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, a number of experts working at the Generalitat de Catalunya have been seen visiting Estonia to seek advice for building their own e-residency program.
Blockchain experts in Catalonia have also sought the help of Vitalik Buterin—Ethereum’s founder—who visited Barcelona in February to attend the Sabadell Blockchain Hackathon.
El Pais says that he advised Catalonians to build their own ICO for the platform of virtual residents with an initial offer of currency that would be equal to the amount of capital it would take to complete the e-residency program.
That ICO would create a new cryptocurrency that would not only finance the new system but would also build an independent community that does not answer to a central bank.
Estonia had recently attempted to create a national cryptocurrency called Estcoin, which may have inspired Catalonians to digitize themselves into a future independent of Spain’s economy.
Unfortunately for them, the Estonian project has experienced some roadblocks, the biggest of which was the rejection by the European Central Bank of their currency, stating that the “currency of the Eurozone is the Euro.”
For Catalonia, this presents a problem because Spain is in the Eurozone. If it wishes to transition its digital economy to a new “official” currency, it will likely have to ditch the Euro for good and issue its own paper money for cash payments should it become an independent country.
EU membership without participation in the Eurozone is still possible. Before leaving the EU, the United Kingdom has kept the British Pound in circulation successfully.
Romania, Poland, Sweden, and Hungary are also notable examples of countries that issue their own currencies and maintain a presence in the European Union.
Catalonia still has many barriers to cross if it wishes to be a nation. First of all, the situation regarding its departure from Spain is tenuous at best. If it is to succeed in a separation, perhaps one of the first items on the agenda should be to separate its economy from the mainland without jeopardizing it.