Bank of Lithuania issues LBCOIN – the world’s first digital collector coin
Today the Bank of Lithuania issued its digital collector coin LBCOIN. Based on state-of-the-art IT solutions, this is not only the first digital coin issued by a central bank in the euro area, but also across the world. LBCOIN is dedicated to Lithuania’s 1918 Act of Independence and its 20 signatories.
“The digital coin is a striking illustration of what we have achieved in just a few years following our strategic decision to take a firm path towards financial and payment innovation. It serves as a bridge that brings together classical numismatics and rapidly evolving financial technologies. I have no doubt that LBCOIN will strengthen Lithuania’s role as the regional fintech hub,” said Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.
“Digital money is inevitable in digital economy. Today, LBCOIN is what allows people in Lithuania and around the globe to test new technologies in a safe environment, e.g. go through all authentication procedures remotely, open an e-wallet, swap digital tokens with other collectors or transfer them to the public NEM network. At the same time, this also allows us to get the know‑how in issuing central bank digital currencies (CBDC), which in turn should benefit the central bank community and the euro area as a whole,” said Marius Jurgilas, Member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.
The blockchain-based LBCOIN consists of six digital tokens and one physical collector coin. The Bank of Lithuania has issued 4,000 LBCOINs, i.e. 24,000 digital tokens and 4,000 silver collector coins.
Each token features one of the 20 signatories of the Act of Independence and belongs to one of the six signatory categories (priests, presidents, diplomats, industrialists, academics, municipal servants) with 4,000 tokens allotted to each of them. Having purchased LBCOIN, collectors will get six randomly selected digital tokens which they will be able to exchange for a physical collector coin, store at the LBCOIN e-shop, send as a gift, swap with other collectors or transfer to a NEM public blockchain network (NEM wallet).
The physical silver collector coins, bearing an unconventional denomination of €19.18, were minted at the Lithuanian Mint. In size and form, they resemble a credit card, depicting the Act of Independence and its signatories. The Lithuanian tricolour flag on the reverse of the coin features the national anthem inscribed in a binary code. The obverse of the coin bears the Vytis – the coat of arms of the Republic of Lithuania – incorporated in a QR code linked to the LBCOIN e-shop. The quality of the physical coin, which weighs 36.36 g, is proof-like. The physical coin and digital tokens were designed by Giedrius Paulauskis.
Priced at EUR 99, LBCOIN is available for purchase at the LBCOIN e-shop lbcoin.lb.lt (registration will be required). Seeking to ensure a level-playing field, one person will be able to purchase one LBCOIN only once from the first to the sixth day of its sale; later, the number of purchases for one person will not be limited.
The Bank of Lithuania aims to create and maintain an environment conducive to competition and advanced innovations in the field of finance. To this end, the central bank has launched several initiatives, including its regulatory sandbox to test financial innovations, the blockchain-based platform LBChain to help start‑ups bring their ideas to reality in a faster and more cost‑efficient way, the RegTech solution to streamline reporting procedures and reduce the administrative burden for financial market participants, and the CENTROlink payment system providing technical access for EEA-licensed payment service providers to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and allowing them to offer instant payments 24/7/365, standard credit transfers and direct debit services.