- Title: Lithuania dabbles in crypto-coin as cbanks look for ways to fend off Facebook
- Date: 2nd July 2020
- Summary: VARIOUS OF MAN SCROLLING THROUGH PLATFORM TO PURCHASE LBCOIN
- Embargoed: 16th July 2020 10:48
- Keywords: European Union Eurozone LBcoin Lithuanian central bank cryptocoin digital currency
- Location: VILNIUS, LITHUANIA
- City: VILNIUS, LITHUANIA
- Country: Lithuania
- Topics: Currencies/Foreign Exchange Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA006CL49Q2H
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: PART AUDIO AS INCOMING
Lithuania is about to issue the first central bank-produced digital coin in the eurozone, part of a project to trial state-backed digital currencies and blockchain technology in everyday use.
The sharp decline in the use of cash and the prospect of Facebook's 2.5 billion users adopting its currency Libra has led central banks to examine how they can issue their own forms of digital currency.
Twenty-four thousand digital tokens dubbed LBCOINs and based on blockchain technology will go on pre-sale next week, each with an attached portrait of one of the 20 people who signed Lithuania's declaration of independence in 1918.
"No one in the central bank community was thinking about digital currency seriously before we realized that there is a legitimate threat that someone else will take our space," said Marius Jurgilas, deputy governor of Lithuania' central bank.
The LBCOIN is very similar to what is known as a central bank digital currency (CBDC), said Jurgilas, putting Lithuania at the forefront of the development of a fiat digital currencies.
CBDCs are traditional money in digital form, issued and governed by a country's central bank. By contrast, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are produced by solving complex maths puzzles and governed by disparate online communities instead of a centralized body.
The digital tokens will be sold in packs of six for 99 euros. The central bank expects users to trade them with others to build a specific set that can then be exchanged for a credit card-sized physical silver coin with a nominal worth of 19.18 euros.
LBCOINs can be exchanged directly with the central bank and on private blockchain networks.
(Production: Andrius Sytas, Malgorzata Wojtunik)
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