Blockchain Technologies in Estonia

Estonia is one of the countries with the highest level of e-Government development. Blockchain is considered to be a key technology in the development of the Estonian e-Government because of its undeniable advantages and potential. From a technical point of view, blockchain technology improves the efficiency, security, and transparency of transmitted data.

Data transparency aims at equality of public access to information, while ensuring the clarity, consistency and reliability of the data provided. In the context of democracies, transparency and accountability often take precedence over confidentiality. However, prioritising confidentiality while ensuring transparency requires complex security protocols, which somewhat complicates the process.

In 2001, Estonia developed its own decentralised distributed system – X-Road, and has been using the KSI blockchain platform since 2008 in the registries of codes of healthcare, judicial system, law, security and Commercial Code, among which are e-Policee-Lawe-Justice, as well as private sector e-services such as digital IDe-Residencye-Governancee-Taxi-Voting and e-Health.

Why does Estonia use Blockchain technology?

Many believe that Estonia is at the forefront of blockchain and decentralised technology by implementing the projects like KSI and X-Road, starting its digital transformation journey over 20 years ago. Estonia is currently the leading country in the development of e-Government, as it has taken many measures to support the digital society at the beginning of the 21st century. Accordingly, the policy of our country is aimed at increasing the efficiency and transparency of the state apparatus, as well as at developing the economy and improving the general welfare of citizens.

According to the “one-time principle” – the main principle of the Estonian legal framework, all information records are entered in the system once, and any updates must be made in the master record. This is necessary to ensure the integrity of the data and allows you to check the update history of this very data, as well as request records of confidential access.

The transparency and immutability functions of the blockchain (chain of blocks with information) allow detecting all kinds of data manipulation. Information stored in a blockchain-based ledger is nearly impossible to steal, alter or delete, which in turn ensures data integrity at rest. For this reason, it becomes clear why the Estonian government is using the blockchain platform to protect its own servers.

KSI: Keyless Signature Infrastructure

As mentioned earlier, the blockchain platform used in Estonia is called KSI Blockchain (Keyless Signature Infrastructure) provided by Guardtime technology. KSI is designed to protect networks, servers, and databases in Estonia from attacks; detect any deliberate or unintentional data changes; and ensure data integrity at rest.

The KSI uses a “once-only principle” to ensure the integrity of the present digital data. In simple terms, all data entered into the system will be hashed into a string of keys called a hash value. The hash value, access time, and signer are then entered into the KSI blockchain, which creates a “signature” that proves the uniqueness of the document. Thanks to such a data storage system, the source information never leaves the server, allowing the state apparatus to track any changes in the blockchain. It makes it possible to check the “signature” of a document without referring to the original document, hence the literal components of the name of the KSI – keyless signature infrastructure.

X-Road: Data Exchange Layer (DXL)

X-Road is a centrally controlled distributed layer of data exchange between information systems. Simply put, X-Road is a platform that connects different interfaces, servers, and services in Estonia, creating a common level of data exchange between systems. Without exception, all digital systems of state institutions in Estonia are connected to the X-Road platform.

X-Road provides a relatively robust information security platform. However, the platform can only protect data in transmission, but cannot guarantee the safety of data at rest. This is where the features of the KSI blockchain come into play.

Today, blockchain-based systems are practiced in many states as the implementation of digital functions in the government, namely in Estonia, Switzerland, China, Japan, America, Great Britain, and other countries aiming to optimise public administration processes. The use of blockchain technologies still involves some difficulties, but the potential of this technology cannot be ignored. The KSI blockchain in Estonia is a vivid example of the successful use of blockchain for the implementation of e-Government in state processes.

FinTech companies in Estonia using Electronic ID and Blockchain

Over 100 Estonian FinTech companies, ranging from innovative startups like TransferWise to blockchain leader – Guardtime, make Estonia a global center of FinTech excellence.

The following is a list of Estonian FinTech companies that target local or larger markets, but remain in touch with the Estonian back office or management:

Company Description Field
AASA GLOBAL Credit solutions for retail and SME clients, back office in Tallinn. Lending
ADMIRAL MARKETS International brokerage firm, back office in Tallinn. Capital Markets
ADVAPAY Payment services provider. Payments
AGRELLO Smart contracts powered by A.I. with contract versions saved on the blockchain. Blockchain
ALPHABLUES Automating customer experience through Chatbots. AI
ARGELD Crowdfunding of real estate. Crowd/P2P
ASKROBIN Chatbot utilising ML and AI to improve financial inclusion for the underbanked. AI
BANKISH Deposit and loan management system provider, spin out from digital lender Finora Capital. Banking/API
BAROQUE STREET Japanese-Estonian crypto market data provider. Crypto
BIGBANK Online consumer and corporate lender active in 9 European countries from Estonia HQ. Banking
BIG DATA SCORING Machine learning analyses of big data to help lenders approve more loans with lower defaults. Credit Scoring
BIKE ID Register and insure your bike online in 2mins. Insurance

BITOFPROPERTY

 

Crowdfunding of real estate in Estonia and Singapore.

Crowd/P2P

 

BLACK INSURANCE

 

Startup seeking to streamline the insurance value chain by removing third parties.

Insurance, Blockchain

 

BLOCKHIVE

 

Collaboration platform for blockchain based business and cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain, Crypto

 

BONDKICK Crowdfunding of SME’s in UK, Estonian management Crowdfunding/P2P
BONDORA Peer-to-Peer lender with 27,000 investors. Crowdfunding/P2P
BULKESTATE Real Estate Peer-to-Peer lender, redomiciled from Latvia to Estonia. Crowdfunding/P2P
CACHET Flexible insurance for drivers of ride-hailing firms Uber, Bolt and Yandex. Insurance

CASH ON GO

 

Digital consumer lender in UK, back office in Estonia. Lending
CATAPULT Crowd funding of start-ups in S.E. Asia secured on the blockchain. Crowdfunding/P2P
CHANGE Start-up Digital banking based on the Blockchain, active in Singapore, IT in Estonia. Banking, Blockchain
CINDX Cryptocurrency asset management, wallet, and technology solutions. Crypto
CODEBORNE Software house with financial services references. Software
COINEX GROUP Cryptocurrency exchange and hardware. Crypto
COINMETRO Cryptocurrency trading platform built on the Blockchain. Crypto, Blockchain
COINTRAFFIC Digital agency for Crypto and Blockchain.

Crypto, Blockchain

 

COST POCKET Digital expense management and reporting application for corporates. Software
CREDIT STAR GROUP Digital consumer lender in 8 countries. Back office in Tallinn. Lending
CREDITINFO GROUP Icelandic owned credit data and solution provider with sizeable ops in Estonia. Credit Scoring
CREDY Global real-time lead broker for online lending industry. Lending
CROWDANA Crowdfunding of start-ups in UK. Crowdfunding/P2P

CROWD ESTATE

CROWDSURE

Crowd funding of real estate.

Crowd insuring.

Crowdfunding/P2P

Insurance, Crowdfunding/P2P

CYPTERIUM

 

Crypto wallet, payment and card solutions. Crypto
CUBER JV between LHV Bank and ChromaWay offering instant, secure, mobile payments in any currency. Payments
DATA ME Credit information processing and analytics. Credit Scoring
DECRYPTO ATM provider providing immediate exchange between cash and Bitcoin. Crypto
DX.EXCHANGE Start-up offering ownership of NASDAQ listed stocks via their proprietary token. Crypto, Capital Markets

E-RESIDENCY

 

Started as a project to provide access to Estonia’s business environment, now a partner to Holvi and UNCTAD. Identity
EESTY Digital wallet for storing cryptocurrencies, with ability to link debit card for real economy payments. Crypto
ERPLY Point of sale technology, payments, and store credit. Payments
ESTATE GURU Crowd funding of real estate. Crowd/P2P
ESTO

Consumer credit specialist, including POS credit, and leasing.

 

Lending
ETHLEND Startup developing borrowing and lending marketplace based on Ethereum Smart Contract. Lending, Blockchain
EVERYPAY Payment service provider for e-commerce and phone transactions. Payments
FAIROWN Subscription for physical products and related services via financing. Software
FEELINGSTREAM AI specialist helping FS firms analyse customer intent to improve cross-sell and retention. AI
FERRATUM Finnish owned Bank with consumer credit and back office operations in Estonia. Lending
FINTECH MARKET Software solutions for risk, loan, and lead management. Software
FIIZY Loan marketplace aggregating credit offers, active in N. America, S. America and Europe from Estonian HQ. Lending
FITEK Automation of financial processes such as Purchase-to-Pay and Order-to-Cash. Payments
FIIZY Digital marketing company focused on financial services. Payments
FORTUMO Payments specialist supporting over 132,000 merchants in 92 countries with direct carrier billing. Payments
FRIENDLY FINANCE Digital consumer lender in 6 European countries. Lending
FUNDERBEAM Data to assist entrepreneurs and analyse start-ups. Crowd funding of start-ups. Crowdfunding/P2P, Blockchain
GUARDTIME Enterprise security and verification of compliance solutions for financial service providers. Blockchain
HASHCOINS Produce software and hardware for bitcoin mining. New venture HashFlare provides cloudmining services. Crypto
HOOANDJA Crowd funding for creative projects. Crowdfunding/P2P
ICEFIRE Software house with various FinTech solutions including core banking, payments, insurance, and wealth. Banking/API
IGNITE Software house with various customised cryptocurrency, Blockchain and insurance references. Crypto, Blockchain
IPF DIGITAL Digital consumer lender, global IT hub in Tallinn. Lending
INBANK Fast growing consumer lender and retail bank. Banking

INSLY

 

Software making it easy for Insurance brokers, agents, and end users to understand and transact. Insurance
INVESTLY Peer-to-Peer invoice finance for SME’s. Active in Estonia and the UK. Invoice Finance, P2P
INWISE Platform for factoring invoices via auction, parent company of Supplier Plus, supply chain financing. Invoice Finance
INZMO Insurance application increasing speed of cover and providing overview of assets, cover. Insurance
IUTECREDIT Consumer lender in Balkan region, Estonian management team. Lending
IUVO Peer-to-Peer investment platform, redomicilied from Bulgaria. Crowdfunding/P2P
KEY CAPITAL Advise on the development, commercialisation and implementation of FinTech solutions.

Advisory

 

LHV BANK Leading retail bank and FinTech investor. Banking
LIFEUP Digital service management for small and medium sized FS clients. Software
MAKECOMMERCE Payments solutions for e-commerce. Payments
MESSENTE COMMUNICATIONS SMS and PIN solutions for notifications, fraud prevention and 2 factor authentication. Authentication Software
MINDTITAN AI solutions for sales, customer service, fraud and risk management. AI
MOBILAB Design and build financial services apps and digital wallets.

Banking/API

 

MONESE Open a UK back account on your mobile, regardless of your citizenship. Banking
MONESTRO Peer-to-peer lender. Crowdfunding/P2P
MOONCASCADE Software house with various global FinTech, payment and mobile app references. Software
MOTHERSHIP ICO funded platform for trading cryptocurrencies. Crypto

NASDAQ

 

Blockchain services developed in Tallinn. Blockchain, Capital Markets
OMARAHA Peer-to-Peer lender. Crowdfunding/P2P
PAXFUL Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin marketplace registered in Estonia. Crypto
PLANET 24 Car leasing and insurance provider in South Africa, under Estonian management. Credit
POCOSYS White label banking, onboarding, savings and payments solutions. Payments
POLYBIUS Aims to create regulated bank for the digital generation, spanning cards, cryptocurrency and lending. Lending, Cards, Crypto
PROEKSPERT Software house with various payment and trading platform applications. Software
PROOF OF YOU Digital signature and intelligent documentation for P2P economy participants.

Identity

 

RINGIT Custom software solutions, clients include Banks in Estonia. Software
SALV AML platform start-up founded by ex Transferwise team. AML
SCOREWISE Credit scoring systems for consumer credit. Risk Management
SK IDENTITY SOLUTIONS e-Identity solutions including cards, mobile and sim-less. Formed by Swedbank, SEB Bank and Telia. Identity
SORBASE Cryptocurrency aggregator connected to 25+ of the largest crypto exchanges around the world. Crypto
TRANSFERFAST High speed intra-bank payments for corporates. Payments
TRANSFERFRIEND Payments and digital wallet provider active in S.E. Asia under Estonian management. Payments
TRANSFERWISE Global currency transfers, currently expanding currency pairs and in to corporate segment. Payments
UNIFOX Implementing Blockchain technologies to make cryptocurrency accessible to ordinary people. Blockchain, Crypto
UNION DIGITAL Client Engagement, Credit Scoring, Digital Core and Crowd/P2P solutions for Nordic-Baltic FI’s. Banking/API
UNITED FINANCE Financial institution specialising in service, clients in Estonia and Finland. Finance
VERIFF Web and mobile identity verification to reduce fraud and improve KYC. Identity
WALLESTER Licensed Payment Service Provider offering Card as a Service (CaaS) solution to Merchants and FIs. Cards
ZANTEPAY Cryptocurrency multiwallet-debit card integration solution. Crypto
ZEGO London based InsureTech with Estonian founder and CEO. Insurance
ZLICK Start-up focusing on zero click micropayments. Payments

The specialists of Company in Estonia OÜ will be happy to assist you in obtaining a cryptocurrency license in Estonia.

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