The central bank of Lithuania has launched a new regulatory “sandbox” for startups working with blockchain. Announced last week, the “LBChain” initiative will see the Bank of Lithuania set up a dedicated platform around the tech, through which companies can develop services (though these would be subject to some gatekeeping by central bank officials). It’s a notable spin on the sandbox model, which sees institutions enabling firms to test financial products in a limited setting and under the auspices of regulators.
Marius Jurgilas, a member of the central bank’s board, states:
“Blockchain technology has a tremendous adaptation potential for innovations conducive to consumers in both the financial and public sectors. Giving room to regulated development of this technology would provide our country with particularly favorable opportunities for investment and attraction of talents as well as acceleration of advanced innovations.”
For now there is no possibility to join the sandbox as the Bank of Lithuania is eyeing a 2019 launch of the platform. Support for it will include funding from the European Union, according to the central bank’s statement, though it’s unclear how much funding from the economic bloc will go toward funding the blockchain effort.
The move comes months after the Bank of Lithuania positioned its policy on initial coin offerings in October when officials stated:
“It should be noted that, when deciding on the application and scope of specific legislation of the Republic of Lithuania for specific ICO, the conditions of the relevant ICO should be analysed and assessed”