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Interview: e-Estonia Doesn’t Think You Know How Awesome e-Citizenship Is Yet

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e-Estonia could make your life easier. The project offers more than 3,000 services improving life for many people in Estonia right now. As a representative from the project tells Hacked, “It is not yet quite understood how many e-services Estonia has and how deeply it has integrated Estonians life making it more time-and cost-efficient.” Here are just some of the services:

  • e-Cabinet
  • e-Law
  • e-Police
  • e-Prescription
  • e-School
  • Electronic Health Record
  • m-Parking

These are just a few of the services e-Estonia features. The initiative just held an e-Residency hackathon from September 11-13th on the Estonian island of Vormsi.

e-Estonia seeks to become a digital nation with certain perks, like incorporating in less than an hour, easy tax declaration and digital contracts. Recently, e-Estonia and hackathon representatives wrote that the program is now developing e-Resident further with new services for e-Residents planned.

“The government of Estonia is welcoming more developers and service providers to enter the scene and integrate the secure and simple e-Residency open platform into services requiring digital authentication and document signing,” the statement read.

We hope that in the future the development of the e-Residency platform may be compared to the Apple App Store or Android Google Play.

We spoke with Katre Kasmel, head of communications for e-Estonia, about the project below.

#закат #старыйгород #oldcity #oldtown #tallinn #eesti #eestonia #virugates

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What would a world with 10 million e-estonians in it look like?

Katre Kasmel: It would be a world with more freedom and less bureaucracy. Since the launch of e-Residency, we have received a vast amount of positive feedback. We have learned that people from around the world see e-Residency as an opportunity to fulfil their dreams, venture across the borders, and become free from bureaucracy. Our vision is to offer every world citizen, regardless of nationality or location, a hassle-free way to run a trusted company online.

Has there been much interested from US citizens compared with Finland, Russia and the Ukraine?

Katre Kasmel: As of September 23, 2015, the percentages of applications from different countries have been the following: Finland (21%), Russia (10%), United States of America (6%), Italy (6%), Ukraine (6%), Germany (4%), United Kingdom (4%), Latvia (3%), Netherlands (3%), India (3%) etc. Over 5500 people have applied in total, from 116 countries. The present situation is influenced by two reasons:

Firstly, quite recently (four months ago) we launched an online application portal (e-resident.gov.ee) and also, since May, it has been possible to pick up the e-Resident digital ID from one of the 38 Estonian foreign representations (before this two visits to Estonia were required). So until May more than half of the applicants were from neighbouring countries, after May the situation has changed a lot. Secondly, media coverage in different regions has had its influence.

What is your favorite part about Estonia?

Katre Kasmel: Estonia’s beautiful nature, diverse culture and Estonia’s openness to new and innovative ideas.

E-estonian #eestonia #europe #digitalidentity

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What is the awareness of e-Estonia in Estonia?

Katre Kasmel: The awareness is very high, e-Estonia is the everyday reality for Estonians. e-Estonia means voting in elections from the comfort of your own living room; filing your income tax return in just five minutes; signing a legally-binding contract over the Internet, from anywhere, via your mobile phone.

These are just a few of the services that Estonians take advantage of on a regular basis. Entrepreneurs can register businesses in a day (the World Record is in 18 minutes), check vital company, property and legal records online, and even integrate their own secure services with the ones offered by the state.

Interaction among government agencies, and between the government and citizens, has been completely transformed in e-Estonia, making bureaucracy a thing of the past. e-Cabinet is a powerful tool used by the Estonian government to streamline its decision making process (no paper in use), e-Law allows public access to every piece of draft law that has been submitted since February 2003, e-Police revolutionizes police communication and coordination, e-Prescription is a centralized paperless system for issuing and handling medical prescriptions, e-School allows students, teachers and parents to collaborate in learning process (grades visible to parents, information about homework etc), Electronic Health Record integrates data from healthcare providers into a national record for each patient (the patient and the patient’s doctors can get access to the data), m-Parking allows drivers to pay for city parking using a mobile phone, Mobile-ID allows a client to use a mobile phone as a form of secure electronic ID, Mobile Payment enables payment for goods and services using mobile phones, etc. Estonia has over 3,000 e-services.

Would you like to address any misconceptions about Estonia?

Katre Kasmel: It is not yet quite understood how many e-services Estonia has and how deeply it has integrated Estonians life making it more time-and cost-efficient.

What did e-Estonia hope to achieve with the recent hackathon at Garage48?

Katre Kasmel: Our goal was to draw attention to the fact that all developers and service providers are welcome to develop services to the e-Residency open digital identity platform. The e-Residency platform could in many aspects be compared to the Apple App Store, as it allows to create many needed services to e-Residents. It is very important that the new customer base is recognised by the developers and service providers, who may already offer their services to e-Residents.

Why is e-Estonia the future?

Katre Kasmel: Taking into consideration the continuous population growth, e-Governance increases governments’ efficiency, improves democratic processes, increases the efficiency of public administration, improves public service delivery, and strengthens the openness and transparency of political processes.

The future is transparent, decentralised, cross-border digital infrastructure. Estonia just happens to be the first country to leverage this technology. We can be sure that others will follow.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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5 stars on average, based on 1 rated postsJustin O'Connell is the founder of financial technology focused CryptographicAsset.com. Justin organized the launch of the largest Bitcoin ATM hardware and software provider in the world at the historical Hotel del Coronado in southern California. His works appear in the U.S.'s third largest weekly, the San Diego Reader, VICE and elsewhere.




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1 Comment

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  1. Jim Brown

    October 2, 2015 at 12:36 am

    Unfortunately, I’m also sure others will follow.

    This breakthrough means that all of the corrupt, unlawful
    activities that you can be suckered into by a bunch of
    lying politicians and “Zionist Bankers” (Google it) now
    no longer requires you to stand in line for hours,
    now you can do it from the comfort of your easy-chair
    right at home, in just minutes !!!!! WOW !!!!

    They forgot to mention that ALL of your sensitive personal
    information will be kept completely safe in a worldwide
    computer database !!!
    Including your bank account balance !!!
    You can also op for having your pay and any government
    benefits deposited directly to the chip in your
    hand… Uhhhh….. I mean I.D. card. Yeah, that’s it !!
    This also makes paying your taxes a breeze, the government
    will automatically debt your account when it considers that
    you owe more money to them, you don’t have
    to lift a finger, it’s all done automatically !!!!

    Woo-Hoo!!! this is the cutting edge wave of the future !!!!
    .
    ……..Jim
    .
    .
    .

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Market Overview

Markets on Edge as President Trump Cancels North Korea Meeting

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U.S. President Donald Trump has called off a highly anticipated meeting with North Korea, citing “anger and open hostility” from Pyongyang.

Strained Diplomacy

President Trump was scheduled to meet Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12 to advance a preliminary peace agreement between North Korea and South Korea. The Trump administration pledged peace and economic cooperation with the North Korean regime if it agreed to relinquish its nuclear arsenal.

Pyongyang took a combative stance last week in response to joint military drills between the United States and South Korea, a move it regarded as “provocative military disturbances.” North Korea’s rhetoric grew more threatening this week after the country’s senior envoy to the U.S. threatened America with an “appalling tragedy that it has never experienced nor imagined.”

In a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Trump said: “I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters. Some day I look very much forward to meeting you.”

White House officials said Thursday that the meeting could still be revived, though no further details were provided.

Markets React

U.S. stocks declined sharply in the wake of President Trump’s announcement, with Dow industrials falling more than 260 points. The blue-chip index was down 191 points, or 0.8%, at 11:31 a.m. ET.  Meanwhile, the large-cap S&P 500 Index fell 0.6% and the Nasdaq slipped 0.5%.

Gold, a preferred safe haven for investors, shot up to more than one-week highs Thursday morning. The August futures contract rose $15.50, or 1.2%, to $1,310.30 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Silver futures advanced 24 cents, or 1.5%, to $16.65 a troy ounce.

Oil prices continued lower in the wake of a shock inventory report on Wednesday from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA said crude stockpiles surged 5.8 million barrels in the latest week, confounding expectations of a 1.9 million-barrel drop.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were down 66 cents, or 0.9%, at $71.18 a barrel Thursday. Brent crude, the international futures contract, declined 67 cents, or 0.8%, to $79.13 a barrel.

In economic data, U.S. jobless claims rose unexpectedly last week, though the underlying picture continued to point to a tightening labor market. The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits rose 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 in the week ended May 19.

The National Association of Realtors also reported a bigger than expected drop in U.S. existing home sales for April. Sales of previously-owned homes declined 2.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 552 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Blockchain

How Blockchain Can Help Companies Face the New GDPR Rules

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The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines governing the European Union (EU) officially come into play on May 25. Businesses and their associated websites had about three years to comply with the new set of rules. The companies that didn’t bother adjusting their data collection methodologies could face stiff fines.

Most companies issued a new “Terms of Use” to be on the safe side of the road. However, a blockchain system could solve the problem once and for all.

According to the GDPR, companies are expected to follow new guidelines in order to be allowed to operate for European citizens. Those regulations include the ability for the user to consent to their data being processed, the knowledge of who is processing the data and the ability to withdraw consent at any time..

Blockchain can play a vital role in this process. Websites that have users register on a distributed ledger system provide an upper hand, allowing them to be in charge of the data they provide.

Blockchain’s Role

When applied to systems in need of identity management, blockchain can operate in a level no other protocol can. The way it stores, collects and distributes data is revolutionizing. There is a brand new set of capabilities not available on any existing data protection method.

Blockchain verifies data usage through a complicated combination of public and private signatures, data hashing and encryption. This allows a person’s data and identity to be saved only on his end, rather than on a server. When that data is requested, it has to be provided from the user’s device instead of the main server.

While running on a blockchain system, the user is able to process exchanges personally, meaning the company that wants his data will have to get his consent in order to access them. This allows the user to have absolute control over his information, as well as know the company that uses it, meeting the GDPR’s “Right to Erasure” condition.

The use of blockchain also eliminates the need for massive databases since each user stores his own data. Blockchain makes it possible for each user to connect when needed, allowing companies to keep minimum information on customers and employees. Applying those changes to their products as well allows the company to meet GDPR’s “privacy by design” condition.

Privacy by design is, in essence, a new GDPR provision. According to it, companies are obligated to have platforms that are built on data privacy, with their products or services privacy in the cognizance of the rightful user. With blockchain technology, the process is automatically private, thus meeting the privacy by design criteria.

It remains to be seen if GDPR rules come into place on May 25 and whether fines will actually be levied on websites that do not comply. According to GDPR, the fees may come up to 4% of its annual global turnover, or €20 million, whichever is greater. This amount is enough to deter both small and large companies, although implementation will be key.

Blockchain can be the pioneer system behind the web sooner than we think. GDPR paves the way for greater blockchain adoption at a level that extends far beyond core business functions and cryptocurrency transactions.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Blockchain

The First Governmental Elections Powered By Blockchain Technology

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While blockchain technology can be used in countless different ways and applied in any possible industrial and/or governmental sector, not all of them have been explored so far.

One of these yet unexplored regions is using the disrupting tech for elections, allowing users to vote in a decentralized fashion from anywhere at any time, while secured by blockchain technology.

United States’ West Virginia took the first step and started the first-ever government-run, blockchain-mediated vote globally.

In the primary elections that concluded on May 8th, blockchain voting was trialed on a limited amount of people, namely deployed military members and Americans eligible to vote absentee under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), as well as their spouses and dependents.

Participation in the trial was further restricted to voters registered in two of the state‘s 55 counties: Harrison and Monongalia.

Voatz, the company behind the voting system has created an application that basically allows you to vote regardless of your geolocation, while the company makes sure the person voting is eligible to do so.

If the trials prove to be successful and trustworthy, Mac Warner, the West Virginia Secretary of State, is considering making the system available to all UOCAVA voters registered in West Virginia for the general election this November.

He is expected to make the decision during this summer so that the process is as smooth as possible during the election period, already tested and “ready-to-go”.

“Our team believes blockchain does provide a heightened level of security on this type of mobile voting app. We’re genuinely hoping that will allow this type of a mobile app to be made available in the future – as early perhaps as our general election – to military voters.” 

Mike Queen, communications director for Mac Warner stated on Ethnews.

In charge of conducting the results of the audit will be Voraz, clerks representing Harrison and Monongalia counties and the state’s governor among other parties.

“The Secretary’s office is very encouraged so far today and we believe that [blockchain-based voting] is a real viable option. There are a lot of other states who are asking about this mobile voting solution and who are also interested in it.” 

However, despite all the excitement of the Secretary of Office state, the whole exercise was questioned by third parties.

Professor Duncan Buell, a computer scientist in the University of South Carolina, doesn’t seem to trust the process, as he considers that Voraz application does not run a trustworthy fingerprint-scanning and facial-recognition technology, meaning the results could be vulnerable to hacking. Thus voting actually becomes trusting a company instead of the government.

While the traditional way people participate in the election process is working for some political systems, it might not be ideal for other.

In traditional elections, participants are required to travel to the city they are registered in order to take part in the process, and even if they do so, they are obliged to vote for a decision that in most common scenarios will not be able to be altered until the next planned elections.

Blockchain technology may empower voters, allowing them to actually make direct decisions regarding their residential location, rather than deciding the person to represent their decisions.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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