The local authorities hope to restore confidence in e-citizenship.
Estonia’s e-citizenship program is now under scrutiny by the local regulator as nationals of other countries who became e-citizens of that country through this program have been linked to crypto scams.
The local police’s white-collar crime department has discovered that foreign companies owned by people with Estonian e-citizenships have been implicated in several major exit scams
Regulators also suspect that Estonian companies and e-citizens were involved in organizing scams with initial coin offerings, according to a police report according to The News Spy.
Three months earlier, the crypto-friendly country found itself at the center of a $ 220 billion money laundering scandal. As a result, the Estonian regulators immediately revoked their licenses from more than 500 crypto firms . Today only 353 companies in Estonia have a crypto license. At the end of 2019, however, there were still 1,234 companies.
The scandal has already put a damper on Estonia’s progress in terms of digitization. The involvement of e-citizens in crypto scams is likely to further damage its reputation.
Former Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas previously told Cointelegraph that the e-citizenship program was one of the measures intended to give the country a new start after 50 years of Soviet occupation. He said it was logical to digitize things instead of relying on paper. That was the origin of the idea for e-citizenship.
The government started the program in 2014. It was intended to give Estonian citizenship to everyone, regardless of where they actually are
After the introduction, the British editor-in-chief of the Economist Edward Lucas became Estonia’s first e-citizen. Many other well-known names from around the world followed suit, including venture capitalists Tim Draper, Guy Kawasaki, and Ben Horowitz. Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also later became e-citizens of the country. So far there are almost 70,000 Estonian e-citizens.
The team behind e-citizenship is now working with the police and the white-collar crime department to resolve the case and restore confidence in e-citizenship.