Estonia may have some Baltic competition when it comes to ICO-friendly environments. The Lithuanian central bank has just announced “LBChain”, a platform to support blockchain-based fintech start-ups.
The aim is to get domestic and international companies on board to research and test blockchain solutions, particularly in areas where data transfers require faultless security, like finance and voting.
According to Marius Jurgilas, a Bank of Lithuania board member, blockchain technology “has tremendous potential for innovations that will benefit consumers in both the financial and public sectors”.
Companies will have to clear due diligence to enter the platform but once there the Bank of Lithuania will steer them through the regulatory challenges. Jurgilas hopes that “giving businesses room for the regulated development of this technology” will help his country become “increasingly attractive for investment and help us attract the best talent”.
The scheme is set to launch next year once funding can be confirmed with the EU.
Lithuania Becomes Regional Player
Lithuania has emerged as a strong player in the ICO space with BitDegree’s plans to restructure education recently winning the Moonrise 2017 competition at Moontec. Crucially, authorities have been actively supportive of the country’s most innovative blockchain-based projects, like WePower which has received formal backing from the Lithuanian government.
In fact, the Baltic region in general is making a name for itself. Estonia recently announced an extension of its e-residency program to make it more attractive to ICOs, while confirming it was continuing with plans to launch its own digital currency, the estcoin.
In November all three Baltic states – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – signed a collective “Memorandum of Understanding” identifying areas where they could work together. The Blockchain was singled out as one of the areas of mutual support, as they pledged to cooperate on “new technologies with a consideration for regional FinTech solutions.”