The Bank of Lithuania is preparing to issue a digital coin, a first for a central bank in the eurozone, Reuters reported on July 2.
The Lithuanian central bank was one of many to be looking at how they might issue their own digital currencies as the use of cash declines – a process speeded up by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“No one in the central bank community was thinking about digital currency seriously before we realised that there is a legitimate threat that someone else will take our space … We need to provide society with what it wants” said the bank’s deputy governor Marius Jurgilas, as quoted by Reuters.
Jurgilas told the newswire that 24,000 digital tokens called “LBCOINs” that are based on blockchain technology will go on pre-sale in the second week of July.
The LBCOIN is very similar to what is known as a central bank digital currency (CBDC), or traditional money in digital form, Jurgilas added. This differs from the more complex cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.