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Article August 22nd, 2018

by Nortal

Oleg Shvaikovsky: e-Government and Estonian Innovation

Blockchain and government are subjects that some would consider to be at odds with one another. Regulatory pressures can at times stunt the growth of blockchain solutions and make some hesitant to get involved in the space.

Though it may seem that the two are water and oil, they are more connected than you may think. Nortal CEO Oleg Shvaikovsky, has bridged these two fields as one of the major contributors to the e-Estonia movement.

Shvaikovsky comes from an extensive background in information and communication technology, starting out as a developer and working his way into senior management. His specializations include e-identity, telecom, and data science; all skills tied to his experience in establishing Estonia’s e-government. This endeavor began in the in the latter half of the 1990s, implementing new technologies over time, one of the most significant of them being blockchain.

“Since the beginning of the 2010s, blockchain has been in use in many of Estonia’s data registries — including the national health, judicial, legislative, security, and commercial code systems,” Shvaikovsky said, “there are plans to extend its use to other spheres such as personalized medicine, cybersecurity, and data embassies.”

Estonia has become the first country to use blockchain for healthcare on a national scale

We played a major role in Estonia’s transformation and is now positioned as the country’s largest IT and strategic consultancy company. Shvaikovsky describes their approach as being less concerned with technological considerations and more mindful of the impact they could have on existing legal frameworks. This emphasis on change management and the long-term effects of innovation, rather than a one-track focus on IT, is in large part what has accounted for our success.

We played a major role in Estonia’s digital transformation

Over the course of his career, Shvaikovsky has seen the benefits and potential of blockchain, but also identified the major obstacles and misgivings in the way of wide-scale adoption. He pointed to the high initial costs and computing strains associated with onboarding, as well as an all-or-nothing mindset surrounding blockchain solutions.

“In general, one has to find the proper balance between central registers and the blockchain type of approach,” Shvaikovsky said, “Finding a correct and unbiased balance is one of blockchain’s major challenges.”

As a speaker at this year’s Blockchain Seattle 2018 conference, Shvaikovsky will delve into the history of e-Estonia, looking at the successes and pitfalls that emerged throughout its ongoing transformation. In addition to showcasing the seamless society model, the presentation will also highlight real blockchain use cases that helped drive the e-government movement.

This post first appeared on Blockchain Seattle 2018 conference website.

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