Estonia’s E-Residency project, a borderless digital society for global citizens, became more popular among cryptocurrency scammers, Bloomberg has learned, citing the Estonia Financial Intelligence Unit's (FIU) report.
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According to the report, the program has been flooded with "suspicious initial coin offerings and the misappropriation of large sums within them."
Up to date, approximately 70,000 digital IDs have been issued to e-residents from 174 countries. The most popular active applicants are from Finland, Russia and Ukraine, the report says.
However, the FIU's Head Ott Vatter notes that the report "doesn’t show that all fraudsters have been e-residents, but that there have also been e-residents among fraudsters."
Estonia launched the E-Residency program back in December 2014. The program allows non-Estonians access to Estonian services such as company formation, banking, payment processing, and taxation. The program gives the e-resident a smart card which they can use to sign documents.
In June 2020, iHodl reported that Estonian authorities had tightened the cryptocurrency market regulation by revoking licenses from 500 crypto-oriented companies. That was approximately 30% of the total number of approved firm at the time.
The limitation of licensing occurred after a series of scandals related to the inability of the authorities to combat money laundering.
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