The pre-sale on digital collector coins is meant to foster interest among the youth in cryptocurrencies as well as contribute insight to their research and development
Lithuania’s central bank is the latest to explore the possibility of developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the midst of the pandemic.
However, it appears that they are taking a new approach to the mater. Instead of a CBDC per se, the country recently held a pre-sale for digital collector coins, which they have named LBCOINs on July 9.
The Bank of Lithuania (BoL) has been working on these tokens since March 2018. This release marks their entry into the trial’s final phase.
In this experimental stage, 24,000 digital LBCOINs will go on pre-sale. The tokens will come in packs of six and will be sold for €99.
Each token has a portrait of one of the 20 signatories of the country’s declaration of independence that was signed in 1918. These portraits have been divided into six categories: presidents, diplomats, industrialists, priests, academics and municipal servants.
Collectors can trade tokens and then exchange specific sets, defined as a group of tokens from each of the six categories. In return, they will receive a physical silver coin worth just under €20.
The BoL clarified that the use of these tokens as a means of payment will not be encouraged; their main purpose is to “engage more people, especially the youth, in coin collecting” while also gaining “valuable experience and knowledge in the field of digital currencies” on their end.
Many countries, such as Japan, the UAE, the US and China have looked into the possibility of integrating blockchain technology with governmental and financial systems. This is due to blockchain offering mitigated levels of risk, better transparency and decentralised ownership.
Alexandre Stachtchenko, co-founder of a consultancy on blockchain technologies named Blockchain Partner, believes that the technology is important because it is also capable of tackling the shortcomings of the internet.
“Unlike an email, once you’ve sent out a bitcoin, you cannot access it anymore.” he explained, referring to blockchain’s capacity to transfer value digitally.
Stachtchenko has praised the Bank of Lithuania’s approach for being “interesting” and “unpretentious,” and believes the project will drive the debate on cryptocurrencies, as well as help people deal with the “elephant in the room.”
Further developments in the crypto industry around the world are pushing governments and other entities alike to question the viability of maintaining traditional forms of currency over establishing another one alongside it.