Lithuania is about to take the title of the first mover within the Eurozone to issue a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
The Bank of Lithuania (BOL) CBDC is dubbed LBCOIN. It will be built on the NEM Blockchain. The pre-sale is expected to start on July 9th while the tokens will be issued and sold on July 23. BOL prefers to call its CBDC “the world’s first blockchain-based digital collector coin”.
In an interview with Reuters, Marius Jurgilas, board member of the BOL had this to say about LBCOIN:
“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,”
Will LBCOIN replace fiat?
LBCOIN won’t serve as a legal tender but will be issued for collectible purposes. This will form part of the country’s further research on blockchain and its capabilities according to Pavel Lipnevič, LBCOIN project manager.
The Bank of Lithuania intends to sell 24,000 LBCOINs that will come in packs of six for 99 euros each. The tokens will feature a portrait of one of the 20 Lithuanian historical figures who signed the country’s declaration of independence in 1918.
These individuals are then divided into six categories which includes: priests, presidents, diplomats, industrialists, academics, and municipal servants. Any collector of LBCOIN within these six categories will be able to exchange them for a physical silver coin worth €19.18. The silver coin will be considered as a legal tender.
The decline in use of cash due to the novel coronavirus pandemic has helped in accelerating the development of CBDCs by central banks around the world, to avoid losing control to decentralized digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum or centralized currencies like Facebook’s Libra and Ripple.