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Estonia hits the 10 000 e-resident milestone

This week Manu Sporny, CEO of Digital Bazaar, became the 10,000th e-Resident of Estonia after picking up his e-Resident’s card from the country’s embassy in Washington DC.

Though he’s never physically visited Estonia, Manu Sporny has followed the country’s e-Residency initiative, which aims to build a borderless digital society, since the program started.

10000th_e_resident“I was originally interested in e-Residency from a business perspective,” said Sporny, who is the founder of the software development company Digital Bazaar. ”I’m the CEO of a digital payments and identity company in the USA and we were looking for ways to establish a business presence in Europe. We had known about Estonia’s internationally acclaimed work in digital online identity for some time and thought it was the natural place for an international payments and identity company to pick as its European headquarters.”

Kaspar Korjus, e-Residency Program Director, was delighted to see Sporny receive his card. “We don’t see these 10,000 e-residents as just a number, but rather as a group of bright individuals who have also invested their time and knowledge to become the pioneers of our service while learning to adapt in our business environment. In return we’d like to offer our commitment to support these 10,000 e-residents, listen to their needs and adapt our services. Our track record reflects this commitment: we’re responding to their requests and addressing their concerns faster than you would expect from any other government,“ said Korjus.

He adds that just a week ago the Estonian government sent a draft law to the parliament. The draft law would allow e-residents to open a bank account in Estonia without physically coming to Estonia. “We believe that all this is just the beginning of a new era of a borderless digital society. There is so much still ahead to come. I hope our 10,000th e-resident Manu is proud of his digital name and is ready to take advantage of the new possibilities it presents,” said Korjus.

It took about 1.5 years from the e-Residency program’s alfa launch in December 2014 for Estonia to reach 10,000 e-residents. The program ambitiously aims to reach 10 million virtual residents by 2025. So far applications have arrived from 129 countries. Finland tops the charts; nearly 20% of e-residents are Finnish. Russia, the USA and Ukraine follow. One third of all e-residents are between 31-40 years old. Together these 10,000 Estonian e-Residents have established 560 new companies, and are owners of 1,155 companies registered in Estonia.

The main reason people all over the world are applying for Estonian e-Residency is a desire to run a location independent international business (37% of applicants). Twenty-one percent of applicants were attracted by the opportunity e-Residency presented to bring their businesses to Estonia (21%), 16% were fans of the innovative program and 11% planned to use the technology for secure authentication.

e-Residency webpage and application form: e-resident.gov.ee

For further information and interviews on e-Residency, please contact:

Katre Kasmel

Head of Marketing and Communication
e-Residency team | Enterprise Estonia
Lõõtsa 2A, 11415 Tallinn, Estonia
cell +372 506 5081, skype katrekasmel
katre.kasmel@eas.ee

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