December 9th, 2014
11:01 PM ET

Estonia's new kind of residency

For more Last Look, watch GPS, Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

“What's an e-resident?” you may ask. Well, in a ceremony in Estonia, one of the world's most wired countries according to Freedom House, Edward Lucas – a senior editor at The Economist – was given the world's first "e-resident" card by President Toomas Hendrik Ilves last week.

E-residency is not the same as citizenship or legal residency, it is digital residency that gives you special powers. We caught up with Ed Lucas, the new E-Estonian, in his London office so he could show us what he could do with his new e-identity.

You can launch a company in Estonia without having to be there, and utilize the country's financial services. Insert your E-resident card into the smartcard reader attached to your computer, and you can access these services anywhere in the world as if you were physically present, replacing the need to sign things on paper. And, Lucas says, this is just the beginning.

“Just as we have competition between Visa and MasterCard and American Express, we're going to have competition between providers of digital identities. And the one that offers the best combination of security and convenience will come out on top.”

The only downside? At the moment, to get the card you do have to go to Estonia. And winter is not the most delightful season in E-stonia.

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soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Observer

    Can you see where this is going? Its going to be just one more way the Ultra Rich will have to get out of paying taxes!

    December 10, 2014 at 1:22 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      @ Observer:
      That is a good thing, not a bad thing.
      The more possible it is to become extremely wealthy, the more energetically the poor will strive to achieve success.
      It is horrible to see beautiful estates near New York City, such as those on the Hudson River at Hyde Park. Being swallowed by the government because of absurd taxation.

      December 10, 2014 at 8:28 am |
      • Temperance

        We shouldn't have any taxes at all. No income tax, no property tax, no state taxes, no county tax, no taxes of any kind. Support your squatter's rights and third world country status now! Who needs any government? It'll run on looooooooooooooooooooove.
        I propose if you're going to shelter your taxes, you be deported to the country that your taxes are being sheltered in. Forfeit your citizenship if you don't want to pay the taxes necessary to help run it. C-ya!

        December 10, 2014 at 10:10 am |
    • Freedumb

      How do the ultra lazy get out of paying taxes? By pretending to be "bi polar" and so don't ever have to work or pay taxes ever again?

      December 10, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
      • Temperance

        Can you give some statistics for that? Because the 2-3 percent of fraud doesn't nearly cost the US as much as the ultra-rich sheltering their income to get out of paying taxes.

        December 10, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
      • Philip

        Your 2-3 % barely covers,fraudulent Americans already being punished for crimes. Only one in 17 shoplifters ever get caught, if you catch my drift.
        For every corporate/political crook there are thousands of little crooks supporting them.

        December 10, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
      • Temperance

        I understand what loss prevention does in retail. This isn't what I was asking about. I asked you about your "ultra-lazy" people post. Can you give me the statistics that support that people are claiming to be bi-polar to get out of paying taxes? Because bi-polar people are not automatically qualified to receive tax deductions or disability by the mere fact that they've been diagnosed bi-polar.
        If you are implying that the ultra-rich are criminals for sheltering and not paying taxes, then I agree!

        December 10, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
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    December 10, 2014 at 1:33 am |
  3. Timmy Suckle

    Now if we could only "off-shore" our medical care to get a better deal. But we can't (realistically).

    I kissed my way up to CEO at a health insurance company. Now I take over $1,000,000 of your health care dollars for NO VALUE ADDED to your health care. And that’s just me. Now think about how many other CEOs, VPs, Directors, Managers, etc. are at my company alone. Now multiply that by thousands of others at hundreds of other health insurance companies. From 10 to 25% of your health care dollars go towards administration that adds NO VALUE to your health care. But my company’s PAC dollars will continue to fool you little people into thinking that a single payer system will be bad. Little people like you are so easy to fool. Little people also don’t realize that a single payer system is the ONLY system that would allow little people (as an entire country) to negotiate better health care prices. Little people don’t realize that the Medical Cartels already know that. And that is the reason why the Medical Cartels spend so much PAC money from the hospitals and doctors lobbying against a single payer system. Some little people say that a single payer system would cost you little people more. But if that were true, then wouldn’t the hospitals and doctors WANT that extra money? Yes they would. So why do the Medical Cartels lobby against a single payer system? It’s because the Medical Cartels know it would allow little people to negotiate better health care prices. And that’s what the Medical Cartels are afraid of. Period.
    But us big wigs at insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacy companies don’t ever need to worry about health care no matter what it costs. We get our health care paid for one way or another by you little people. And we get the little people that work at our companies to contribute to our PACs. And us big wigs say it’s to protect the little peoples’ jobs. But in reality it would be in the little peoples’ best interest to NOT contribute to the PAC. Again, little people are so easily fooled. I won’t ever have to worry about losing my job with so many little people being brain washed by the Medical Cartels’ PAC money. Not only that, the Medical Cartels’ PAC money is used to elect so many republicans that will never allow a single payer system. Republicans have always fought against any meaningful health care reform. But that’s what our Medical Cartels’ PACs pay them for. Politicians can be bought so easily.
    Pretty soon the only people that will be able to afford health care is us big wigs. And that’s the way it should be. We don’t want you little people using up the resources when we need them. And once again, I thank you little people for capping my SS tax at the $117,000 level. Now I only pay 1.17% SS tax and you little people pay 6.2%. Also, thank you for extending my tax breaks. I’m using the extra money on my vacation houses.

    December 10, 2014 at 10:27 am |
  4. palintwit

    I've heard nothing to the contrary so I must assume that Sarah Palin continues to take up space and waste valuable oxygen.

    December 10, 2014 at 11:05 am |
    • So True

      If that would be the ONLY damage she's doing it would probably be okay. But then she starts to spew. And THAT's when the real danger begins.

      December 11, 2014 at 8:32 am |
  5. Observer

    How is it a good thing when the ultra rich can hide their money and not pay taxes like the rest of american citizens do?

    December 10, 2014 at 11:17 am |
  6. Freedumb

    The rest of US don't all pay taxes, @Observer. 1/2 of US live off the backs of the other half. Half are hard workers, and the other half aren't. Next year, 60/40.

    December 10, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
  7. Observer

    Freedumb or probably philip, that is not true. You just cant pull numbers out of you know where and expect us to believe they're accurate. Lets just say your reputation has preceded you.

    December 10, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
    • e Gay

      Observer or probably Fred. Maybe Barney or Wilma.

      December 10, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
  8. e Gay

    Is gay marriage legalized in Estonia yet? Could be a deal breaker.

    December 10, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
  9. e Bort

    Is abortion legalized in Estonia yet? Could be a deal breaker.

    December 10, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
  10. e Hillbilly

    How old is Estonia and is she a female. Not that it matters.

    December 10, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
  11. peeping tom

    @Observer. Mom said it's time to come home. If you see Stalker tell him to come home too. Buisy Body is eating over at Chri$$y,s.

    December 10, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
  12. e por N

    How's the naked people stalking e business in Estonia? Could be viable.

    December 10, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
  13. Observer

    Thank you Temperance. Just don't hold your breath because he never posts factual numbers. Only the numbers he pulls out of his azz!

    December 10, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
  14. Philip

    Factual number: Americans are fatter and stupider than ever before. And deeper in debt.

    December 10, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
    • Temperance

      You haven't posted any factual number. You posted an opinion. There is a difference!

      December 10, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
    • Drug War

      And eat more drugs than any peoples on earth. Really. America is the drug vacuum of the world.

      December 10, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
      • Temperance

        Okay. Forget I tried to talk to you. I see it is futile.

        December 10, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
  15. Seeing is,believing
    Visible and tangible proof if just how fat and stupid Americans have,become.

    December 10, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
    • Temperance

      So if I post a link focusing on the Westboro gang, that's proof that all Americans worship like they do? Or is I post a link to the Neo Nazis, this is proof positive that all white people consider themselves suprematists? On and on and on.

      December 10, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
      • Seeing is,believing

        What is your opinion concerning America's ongoing obesity and drug epidemics? You only observe?

        December 10, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
      • Philip

        tists. Really?

        December 10, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
      • Temperance

        Cists. Coming from a guy who spells watch w h a t c h and mommy m o m y, a typo shouldn't rattle your world!

        December 10, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
  16. Seeing is,believing

    Stop trying to prove Americans aren't fat and stupid now. Google it you dumb aas.

    December 10, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
  17. Yogurt Von Brain

    Low low calories, please. So I can eat more.

    December 10, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
  18. e Hillbilly

    What if'n he posts link to cow poop being warm at first. Then what?

    December 10, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
  19. Philip

    Why are you calling yourself Temperance. Is that a step you are working on?
    Observer? That's just plain creepy. Observer. Yeesh. Gives me the he be jeebies.

    December 10, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
    • Temperance

      I call myself Temperance for the same reasons you call yourself Philip.

      December 10, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
      • Philip

        Get a clue. I didn't name myself Philip. My parents did. Who named you Temperance and why is what I was asking.
        But you knew that already. So you are just looking for a fight, obviously.
        Bear your way out of your own wet sack. Ty

        December 12, 2014 at 2:33 am |
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    Thursdays nights meeting is on Friday. Downstairs at The Odd Fellows Home.

    December 10, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
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    e residencies starting at 47 bitcoin

    December 10, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
  22. Philip

    Ded thred

    December 12, 2014 at 2:38 am |
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