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December 2021 - February 2022

How Estonia’s country-as-a-service scheme has attracted tens of thousands of foreign entrepreneurs

While the need to have an ID card stirs protest in many countries, Estonia has used a digital version as the foundation of its strategy to lead the world in digital government. The people of Estonia, particularly older generations, could be forgiven for fearing an ID card. The oppression during the Soviet occupation from 1944 to 1992 is still recent history, but this has not stopped Estonians embracing digital IDs. These digital IDs, which are also legal travel documents within the European Union (EU), enable holders to vote in national elections online, pay their taxes online and, if current work comes to fruition, they will soon be automatically contacted by a government digital assistant and offered services they need before they know they need them. A secure ID is the perfect foundation for any digital service. Certainty about who is making an application removes complexity. In Estonia, tech entrepreneurs are building digital services to make life easy for holders of these cards. In many ways, the Baltic nation behaves like ...

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