Estonia’s e-residency program is under the radar of the local regulatoras foreigners registered as electronic residents of the Baltic nation are linked to cryptocurrency fraud.
The Financial Intelligence Unit The local police found that foreign companies owned by Estonian e-citizens were involved several large-scale exit scams.
The regulators also suspect that e-business and local residents were involved in organizing coin-operated scams, according to the police report quoted by Bloomberg.
It does so just three months after the nation became the epicenter of a $ 220 billion money laundering scandal.. Estonian regulators Licenses were revoked immediately from 500+ crypto companies in response to the scam. Nowadays, Only 353 companies have a cryptocurrency license in Estonia, while 1,234 companies had it at the end of 2019.
While the scandal had already done enough damage to Estonia’s digitization efforts, its e-residents’ involvement in crypto scams is expected to worsen its reputation.
Former Estonian Prime Minister, Taavi Roivas, previously told Cointelegraph that The e-residency program was one of the measures designed to give the country an effective restart after 50 years of Soviet occupation. He had said that digitizing things instead of relying on paper files was a logical start and hence the idea of an electronic residence permit.
The government launched the program in 2014 to offer Estonian citizenship to everyoneno matter where you really are.
After launch, The Economist UK Senior Editor, Edward Lucasbecame the first electronic resident of Estonia. Many other well-known names from around the world followed suit, including venture capitalists like Tim Draper, Guy Kawasaki Y. Ben Horowitz. Former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abeand the German Chancellor, Angela MerkelThey also became electronic residents of the country. So far there are around 70,000 electronic residents in Estonia.
The e-residency team is now working with the police and the Financial Intelligence Unit to decipher the case and regain confidence in the e-residency system.