It's 9am in San Francisco (and 5pm in Barcelona), so it's time to panic-buy some crypto-currency...
Bitcoin just surged over $200, back over $6000.
And Ethereum is back above $300...
For now the catalyst is unclear. However, amid increasing tensions folowing Spain's impositin of Article 155, as CryptoCoinsNews.com reports, Catalonia, which is fighting for independence from Spain, is considering an e-residency program similar to the one in Estonia. Catalonia is also considering adopting its own digital token or cryptocurrency.
The Government of Catalonia, the Generalitat de Catalunya, has sent representatives to Estonia to learn about the e-residency program, which offers a government-issued digital identity card that provides a way to operate a location-independent business online.
Dani Marco, the director of SmartCatalonia, an official Catalan agency, said the Estonians built a model of economic development from scratch. Marco appears to be heading Catalonia’s e-residency initiative.
Catalonia continues to move forward with plans to create an economy separate from Spain, according to El Pais, Spain’s leading newspaper. Estonia’s e-residency program serves as Catalonia’s model and could emulate an Estonian proposal to issue national blockchain based tokens.
El Pais reported that Catalonia is interested in Estonia’s e-residency program since the program has no borders. The e-residency program has attracted more than 20,000 entrepreneurs from 143 countries since 2014, including 336 from Spain.
El Pais further reported that Catalonia has the largest number of entrepreneurs and those working with virtual currencies in Spain.
Vitalik Buterin Weighs In
Blockchain experts in Catalonia have sought help from Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s founder, according to El Pais. Vitalik advised the Catalonians to create an ICO to offer a currency that would work in tandem with the financing of a business project for the virtual residence program. The e-residency ecosystem could create an economic community independent of a central bank.
Estonia recently proposed “Estcoin,” a national cryptocurrency. If the country follows through on this plan, it would be the first national government to launch an ICO.
Kaspar Korjus, managing director for Estonia’s e-residency program, posted a Medium blog in August claiming Estonia could offer Estcoins to residents. The coins could be managed by the Republic of Estonia, but accessed by anyone through the e-residency program. The program would launch an ICO to offer the coins.
Korjus also said the ability to start a location independent company is the main factor driving the growth of the e-residency program.
As CoinTelegraph reports, while the Blockchain residency program would be the first of its kind in Europe, perhaps the bigger news is that an independent Catalan government would likely not have a central bank, choosing a national cryptocurrency instead. With Russian and Kazakhstan already suggesting national cryptocurrencies, the move would not come as a huge surprise.