Usually unremarkable in most arenas, Lithuania’s government and private sector are working together to build a viable blockchain economy for the benefit of global crypto community. This comes considering a recent crypto market slump. Research shows, Bitcoin is down more than 50% this year, and 66% down from its all-time high of almost $20,000 in late December. Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies have gone through similar drops.
One of the prime reasons for the cryptocurrency market drop is the uncertainty brought on by new regulations issued by governments and the volatility of the market. For example, Japanese government has just ordered six cryptocurrency operators to improve their measures against money laundering; a government panel in India is considering a draft of new crypto regulations; S. Korean regulators are getting ready to release new regulations for crypto and blockchain.
Despite uncertainty, some governments are showing support for the blockchain technology. One such country is Lithuania.
Lithuania has the biggest number of ICOs per capita in the world, a high concentration of Bitcoin full nodes, and the government is in support of the advancing technology. Example, the Bank of Lithuania is facilitating an easy market entry for new blockchain projects by issuing financial licenses through an online form. Lithuania is already the fastest country in the EU to issue PI and EMI licenses: it only takes three months to obtain such licenses, which is up to 4 times faster compared to other EU countries. The new process should help Lithuania beat its own record.
The Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Lithuania and the private sector are working together towards a more transparent and even faster-growing crypto ecosystem. For example, Marius Jurgilas, Board Member at the Bank of Lithuania, is helping launch a blockchain sandbox platform which will promote innovation-friendly regulation in Lithuania. Another strong advocate for the blockchain technology is Antanas Guoga (Tony G), member of the EU Parliament, businessman, philanthropist, and poker player, who is also the founder of the Blockchain Centre Vilnius, Europe’s blockchain getaway to the rest of the world.
The Blockchain Centre enables blockchain entrepreneurs, developers, investors, and regulators to share their know-how, and is one of only three Blockchain Centers in the world. Some of the most promising startups that have launched with the help of Blockchain Centre Vilnius focus on Digital Engagement.
For example, Lympo.io which raised $17M earlier this year, is a platform that challenges the existing gym business model by enabling users to find the best personal trainers and coaches near them. Its trainers get a subscription to train in any partner gym, and Lympo’s community doesn’t need a gym to become the biggest health and sport community and to transform the fitness and well-being sector.
Similarly, the Swace.io platform, which is currently holding a public coin pre-sale, has set out to challenge existing social media platforms. It offers rewards in exchange for gaming challenges and socially engaging activities and wants to address the issue of brand engagement with potential customers. It offers an opportunity for brands to truly engage with customers through innovative games, and an opportunity for users to have new exciting experiences that merge the online and offline world.
“We are one of the blockchain-based companies operating from the Blockchain Centre Vilnius,” said Dovydas Riasnojus, CEO of Swace. “Every day we see the benefits of working from a buzzing blockchain hub, full of experts, talent and investors. We are really optimistic about the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency, as we see many businesses thriving and enjoy the support of the government.”
One never knows……