By Bloomberg
March 6, 2018

Coin fanatics in search of something new may want to take a look at Lithuania.

The Baltic nation’s central bank said Tuesday that it will release a crypto coin aimed at enthusiasts later this year. Intended only as a collector’s item, the digital coins won’t be issued with a view to entering into circulation and can’t be used as legal tender, the bank said.

The move will show the world that Lithuania is a “progressive and innovation-fostering country, always open to new ideas,” central bank board member Marius Jurgilas said in a statement. “Introducing a digital collector’s coin, Lithuania would be the first to break new ground in numismatics.”

Central banks the world over — including Lithuania’s — have approached cryptocurrencies with caution because of their speculative characteristics, wild price swings and use in criminal activities. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney called last week for greater regulation to bring the era of cryptocurrency “anarchy” to an end.

Lithuania isn’t the first country to experiment. Venezuela has gone further, saying it will start the world’s first sovereign crytocurrency.

The Baltic nation is trying to position itself as a financial-technology hub that’s attractive to start-ups, particularly in the banking sector. From 2019, it will offer domestic and foreign companies a platform designed using blockchain technology to test finance-related innovation.


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