Estonian central bank launches research on digital currency

The Estonian central bank, Eesti Pank has launched a research programme focused on developing a viable digital currency infrastructure.

This was made known via an official statement by Eesti Pank on their website. The research programme will last for two years and will run in multiple phases. Eesti Pank launched the programme in partnership with technology companies SW7 Group and Guardtime.

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The research project aims to investigate how suitable it is for a solution based on the keyless signature infrastructure (KSI) Blockchain, can be for operating Eesti Pank’s digital currency infrastructure. KSI Blockchain is a core technology already utilized by the e-government in Estonia.

According to Eesti Pank, the project will also examine new payment solutions that could be made possible by using electronic identity and other Estonian e-government solutions. Although, the research project will not make choices about the use of specific individual technologies.

Rainer Olt, Eesti Pank’s head of payment and settlement systems department said:

Eesti Pank as a small central bank chooses carefully which Eurosystem development projects we are able to contribute to meaningfully. Estonia has over the years developed unique know-how in running a digital government that prioritises security, privacy and efficiency. This experience gives us good grounds for launching a project to explore the technological frontiers of digital money with the technology companies SW7 and Guardtime. Guardtime is the Estonian government’s long-term blockchain partner and is a global leader in its field”. 

The Estonian central bank has joined the European Central Bank (ECB) and other European countries central banks to explore opportunities in digital currencies. Just last friday, ECB published a comprehensive report analysing scenarios in which it might consider introducing a digital euro.