Estonia, the Digital Republic
. Excellent piece by Nathan Heller
for The New Yorker exploring how e-Estonia
has transformed the country into a digital society
. 💯 All government services, from “legislation, voting, education, justice, healthcare, banking, taxes, policing, and so on”, have been linked to one distributed and decentralised platform. 🔮 So:
Citizens can vote from their laptops and challenge parking tickets from home. They do so through the “once only” policy, which dictates that no single piece of information should be entered twice.
Instead of having to “prepare” a loan application, applicants have their data—income, debt, savings—pulled from elsewhere in the system. There’s nothing to fill out in doctors’ waiting rooms, because physicians can access their patients’ medical histories.
Estonia’s system is keyed to a chip-I.D. card that reduces typically onerous, integrative processes—such as doing taxes—to quick work.
Data aren’t centrally held, thus reducing the chance of Equifax-level breaches. Instead, the government’s data platform, X-Road, links individual servers through end-to-end encrypted pathways, letting information live locally.
Your dentist’s practice holds its own data; so does your high school and your bank. When a user requests a piece of information, it is delivered like a boat crossing a canal via locks.
Why we must combine information.
Writing for the Financial Times, Bill Gates explains why we must share data to fight Alzheimer’s
. 🙏 Gates describes the importance of large datasets being combined to help us identify symptoms earlier, understand how the disease progresses and discover new treatments. 📈 Critically:
The benefits the entire field will reap outweigh the competitive advantages that come from keeping information siloed.
The average person goes to Coinbase to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin—the average on-ramp is an exchange, and those are easy to block. If Comcast is the monopoly provider in an area, the provider could decide there’s a preferred Bitcoin exchange.
- Limited scalability
- Limited privacy
- Lack of formal contract verification
- Storage constraints
- Unsustainable consensus mechanisms
- Lack of governance and standards
- Inadequate tooling
- Quantum computing threat
- … and more.
The ultimate GDPR guide
for marketers and businesses. One of the most human explanations I’ve read
– highly recommend! ✅