According to a recent report, Lithuania may be the first nation to launch a central bank-backed digital coin in the eurozone. The country’s central bank plans a pre-sale of twenty-four thousand blockchain-based digital tokens called LBCOINs.
Lithuania To Sell 24k Blockchain-based Tokens
A Reuters report from earlier today informed that the Baltic country has completed the development stages of the LBCOINs and is preparing for the pre-sale next week.
Each of the twenty-four thousand blockchain-based digital coins issued by the nation’s central bank will come with an attached portrait of one of the 20 people who signed Lithuania’s declaration of independence in 1918.
Deputy governor of Lithuania’s central bank, Marius Jurgilas, explained that the fundamental concepts of the LBCOIN operate quite similarly to a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Consequently, the release of such tokens will put the country “at the forefront of the development of fiat digital currencies.”
“At a time when central banks are beginning to change their thinking on digital currency, LBCOIN is probably the most advanced experimental playground to test different reincarnations of the CBDCs,” Jurgilas continued.
During the pre-sale, the LBCOINs will be sold in packs of six for 99 euros (approximately $111). Per the report, users will be able to trade the coins with others directly with the central bank or on private blockchain networks.
Jurgilas noted that when users indeed trade them, they can build a specific set that can be exchanged for a “credit-card-sized physical silver coin with a nominal worth of 19.18 euros.”
COVID-19 And Facebook’s Libra Played A Role
Jurgilas also outlined two significant factors that urged Lithuania’s central bank to initiate and accelerate the development of LBCOINs. More specifically, those are projects from private companies such as Facebook’s Libra and the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“No one in the central bank community was thinking about digital currency seriously before we realized that there is a legitimate threat that someone else will take our space. Now, we need to provide society with what it wants.”
As CryptoPotato reported before, Facebook announced its cryptocurrency project last summer. Following lots of hurdles from world regulators, Libra received several fundamental updates, but the launch date is still unknown.
On the other hand, the novel coronavirus prompted severe disruptions in everyday lives, including fears of transmitting the virus on physical cash. The Bank of International Settlements advised central banks to act accordingly and release CBDCs faster. Jurgilas also highlighted that millions of people are turning to cashless payments, and the LBCOIN initiative is Lithuania’s solution.