What is 'LBCOIN,' the new Lithuanian state-backed cryptocurrency? - Fintech Inn Lithuania

What is ‘LBCOIN,’ the new Lithuanian state-backed cryptocurrency?

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the development of digital currencies by central banks in a bid to encourage people to turn to cashless payments.

One such project is being led by Lithuania’s Central Bank, which will open a pre-sale for the world’s first digital collector coins – dubbed “LBCOINs” – on July 9 as part of its trial of blockchain technology and digital currencies.

The Bank of Lithuania (BoL) has been developing the project since March 2018 and is now entering the final phase of the trial.

How will it work?
The project is more of an experiment rather than the official launch of a tradeable currency. 24,000 digital LBCOINs will go on pre-sale this week, sold in packs of 6 for €99. Each token will feature a portrait of one of the 20 signatories of Lithuania’s declaration of independence signed in 1918, which has been divided into six categories: priests, presidents, diplomats, industrialists, academics, and municipal servants.

Collectors will be able to trade tokens then exchange a specific set – a token from each of the six categories – for a physical silver coin worth €19.18. The BoL explained that “their use as a means of payment will not be encouraged” as it is meant to “engage more people, especially the youth, in coin collecting” while gaining “valuable experience and knowledge in the field of digital currencies.”

What is blockchain?
Decentralised, secure, and encrypted, a blockchain is a time-stamped series of data that is shared and authenticated by a cluster of computers. The technology is considered to be revolutionary because it helps reduce risks, affords transparency, and is not owned by one single entity.

According to Sinopé Conseil consultant Florence Presson, the need for blockchain originates from the loss of trust between citizens and institutions. “People tend to trust a stranger more than an institution,” says Presson. She advocates for “trust devolution” based on blockchain technology and believes both administrations and citizens could really benefit from it when it comes to official records: birth certificates, deeds of sale, and so on.

Blockchain Partner co-founder, Alexandre Stachtchenko argues that blockchain also tackles other shortcomings of the Internet: how to transfer value and depict something as rare when it is not unique. “Unlike an e-mail, once you’ve sent out a bitcoin, you cannot access it anymore,” he explains. The blockchain expert notes with regret that “the monetary discussion has been overshadowing the technical one,” with blockchain often being associated with cryptocurrencies with much-publicised bitcoins.

Why are states developing cryptocurrencies?
Stachtchenko believes that the BoL’s “interesting, unpretentious initiative” will fuel the debate about cryptocurrencies and deal with the “elephant in the room.” With developments like Facebook’s cryptocurrency “Libra,” which should be launched by the end of the year, governments’ sovereignty is now being challenged with one of their main prerogatives: the establishment and the management of currency.

There is no doubt that other countries will be following this experiment closely as the race for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is accelerating. In a report published on July 2, the Bank of Japan announced moving towards a testing phase aiming at introducing a CBDC eventually.

A survey conducted in January 2020 among 66 central banks by the Bank for International Settlements showed that more than 80 percent of them were developing a central bank digital currency.

Will other European countries follow suit?
In a speech at the Consensus 2020 virtual conference on May 11, Vice-Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), Yves Mersch recognised that Europe will need to be “ready to embrace financial technological innovation which has the potential to transform payments and money faster, and in more disruptive ways, than ever before.”

This represents a sea change with ECB leaders, particularly given that former President Mario Draghi stated in 2017 that “no member state can introduce its own currency; the currency of the eurozone is the euro” in response to Estonian government’s proposition to promote the circulation of a new cryptocurrency.

Source: euronews

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22 October

Main stage 22 October /
Time
Topic
Speakers
10.05-11.05
INVESTING IN CRYPTO / DIGITAL ASSET COMPANIES (VENTURE CAPITAL PERSPECTIVE)

Sumit Kishore (moderator), Head of Operations @ Consensys
Uldis Tēraudkalns, CEO @ Nexpay
Sang H Lee, Co-Founder and CEO @ VegaX and Konstellation

11.05-12.05
NEOBANKING’S NEXT TRICK: GETTING BIG, STAYING NIMBLE

Remco Veenenberg (moderator), Head of Partnerships @ Perfinal
Sarp Demiry, CEO @ European Merchant Bank
Mantvydas Štareika, CEO and Member of the Board @ SME Bank
Esther Groen, Advisor to the Board @ Holland FinTech
Andrius Bičeika, Deputy CEO and Member of the Management Board @ Revolut Bank

12.05-13.05
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: THE NEXT ERA OF FINTECH

Jarosław Sarwa (moderator), Community Partner @ FinTech Connector, Digital Leader @ QGroup
Jennifer Reynolds, President and CEO @ Toronto Finance International
Liudas Kanapienis, Co-Founder and CEO @ Ondato
Anton Zujev, Head of Business Development and Sales @ Forbis
Siri Børsum, Global VP Finance Vertical Eco-development & Partnerships @ Huawei Consumer Group

13.05-13.25
THE SUCCESS STORY BEHIND GROWTH OF LITHUANIA’S FINTECH ECOSYSTEM AND WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE ?

Liutauras Žilinskas, Investment Advisor for Technology @ Invest Lithuania

13.25-14.35
DIGITAL IDENTITY & DECENTRALISED IDENTITY: CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES

Liudas Kanapienis (moderator), Co-Founder & CEO @ Ondato
Audrius Ramoška, Co-Founder and CEO @ Soverio
Kalev Pihl, CEO @ SK ID Solutions
Jon Ølnes, Product Manager Trust Services @ Signicat
Barbara Hałasek, Head of Regulatory Affairs @ Coinfirm

14.35-16.05
WORKSHOP: STARTUPS, PR AND THE MEDIA IN 2021

Mike Butcher, TechCrunch’s Editor-at-large
Julija (JJ) Jegorova (moderator), Founder and CEO @ Black Unicorn PR

16.05-16.15
CLOSING

Louis Zezeran, moderator

9.00-9.05
OPENING

Louis Zezeran, moderator

9.05-10.05
IS ALTERNATIVE FINANCING BECOMING MAINSTREAM FINANCING?

Mindaugas Mikalajūnas (moderator), CEO @ SME Finance
Tomas Mačiulaitis, CEO @ FinBee Verslui
Diego Perez, CEO @ the Fintech Association of Brazil – ABFintechs and Co-Founder @ SMU Investments

Michel Breeuwer, General Manager Benelux @ Mambu

21 October

Main stage 21 October /
Time
Topic
Speakers
10.30-11.30
EMPOWERING GREEN FINANCE. BIG CHANCE FOR FINTECHS?

Alex Gibb (moderator), Partner @ Katalista Ventures and Advisor @ Sumup
Dominykas Stankevičius, Investment Associate @ Launchpad Capital
Tee Pruitt, Head of Partnerships @ Doconomy
Akvilė Bosaitė, Partner and Co-Head of Banking & Finance Practice Group @ COBALT Legal
Rosvaldas Krušna, Chief Specialist @ the Bank of Lithuania

11.30-12.30
DATA PRIVACY vs. AML/KYC

Martynas Bieliūnas (moderator), Managing Partner @ Privacy Partners Group
Domantas Čiuldė, Co-Founder and CEO @ Idenfy
Faisal Islam, Head of FC/AML @ Sentinels.ai
Marios M. Skandalis, Director Compliance @ Bank of Cyprus
Taavi Tamkivi, Founder and CEO @ Salv

12.30-13.00
120M AUDIENCE – THAT FINTECH ECOSYSTEM HAS OVERLOOKED

Vaiva Amulė (moderator), Head of Fintech Hub LT
Sandra Golbreich, Co-Founder and CEO @ Baltic Sandbox

13.00-14.00
DeFi AND THE FUTURE OF FINANCE

Ash Costello (moderator), Member of Expert Panel @ EU Blockchain Observatory & Forum
Vytautas Karalevičius, Co-Founder @ Bankera and SpectroCoin
Vytautas Kašėta, Co-Founder & CIO @ SUPER HOW?
Chia Hock Lai, Co-Chairman @ Blockchain Association Singapore
Patryk Walaszczyk, Blockchain Consultant @ IBM

14.00-15.00
POWERING THE POTENTIAL OF PAYMENTS

Daumantas Dvilinskas, CEO & Co-Founder @ TransferGo
Marcilio Oliveira, COO & Co-Founder @ Sensedia
Marius Galdikas, CEO @ ConnectPay
Airidas Puodžiūnas, General Manager @ Contis

15.00-16.00
CYBER SECURITY: BEST PRACTICES TO OPTIMIZE INCIDENT HANDLING

Tomas Martinkėnas, Director of Security and Privacy @ Vinted
Mario Galatovic, VP Products & Alliances @ Ultimaco
Jessica Ramos, Head of Regulatory & Oversight Affairs @ EBA CLEARING
Marius Pareščius, Vice President @ Paysera

Tomas Beinaravičius (moderator), Senior Consultant @ Transcendent Group Baltics

16.00-17.00
FINTECH & AI: BREAKING DOWN FINANCE VERTICALS AND IN SEARCH FOR NEW HORIZONTALS

Jung Seok Kang, Founder and CEO @ AIZEN
Mariane ter Veen, Director, Lead Data Sharing @ Innopay
Dr. Yogesh Malhotra, Founding Chairman & CEO @ Global Risk Management Network

17.00-17.10
CLOSING

Louis Zezeran, moderator

9.00-9.10
OPENING

Louis Zezeran, moderator

9.10-9.30
WELCOME ADDRESS
9.30-10.30
MOVING FROM OPEN BANKING TO OPEN FINANCE. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?

Ronalds Mesters, Co-Founder & CEO @ Nordigen
Aleksėjus Loskutovas, CEO @ NEO Finance
Gibson Nascimento, Head of Solutions EMEA @ Sensedia
Shaul David, Growth & Head of Banking @ Railsbank