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Top 5 Events in 2015 That Make e-Estonia a Unique Country

2015 was a year of several milestones for e-Estonia, the tech portal Geenius writes. Here are the top 5 events of 2015 that according to Geenius make e-Estonia a unique country:

1. World record in e-voting.

In March 2015 parliamentary elections were held. This was already the 10th time in the history of Estonian elections that citizens could cast their vote either traditionally or electronically. The number of internet voters, 176,491, marked a world record in the number of e-voters. The next e-vote will be held in 2017.

2. e-Residency exceeded its goals.

There were more than 7,200 Estonian e-residents from 100 different countries by the end of 2015. This means that the goal of 5,000 people was exceeded by almost 45 per cent. New services offered to e-residents by private companies and the possibility of opening a bank account without physically visiting a bank branch should help e-Residency spread even more.

3. No back-door for the Estonian ID-card.

Both, in Europe and the USA, banning encryption and using government backdoors have been widely discussed. The main reason behind the ideas has been making it more difficult for terrorists to communicate. At the same time, it is obvious that in certain situations the backdoors would threaten the privacy of ordinary citizens. In Estonia the back-door functionality for the ID-card was proposed by the Ministry of Interior Affairs but was soon dropped – after discussions with experts, politicians, and officials.

4. Estonian schools got 3D printers.

The founder of GrabCad, a start-up company that reached its exit in 2015, Hardi Meybaum, started the Project Estonia 2.0 to promote 3D printing technology in schools. This helped 50 schools in Estonia to get 3D printers. and will let the students in Estonian schools develop their creativity and technical skills.

5. Estonia joined the European Space Agency.

This gives Estonian scientists and entrepreneurs new possibilities. Estonia has already started with the development of small satellites and software development for the space industry. Being a part of the agency could mean millions of euros for Estonian companies.

Source: Estonian Investment Agency

By Richard J. Witismann on 4 January, 2016