Baltic Countries Endorse Blockchain Technology Development

14.11.2017

The Baltic states finance ministries have recently come to an agreement to endorse Blockchain technology or distributed ledger technologies (DLT). In the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the ministries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania the countries agreed to aid in the development of capital market innovations. The document outlines a series of steps the countries need to take to further develop their economies, which includes promotion of DLT to bolster capital market innovations.

The MOU states:

"The Estonian Ministry, the Latvian Ministry and the Lithuanian Ministry recognize the importance of the development of the capital market and a stronger institutional framework to handle the cross-border challenges in the Baltic States. ... [And] supporting the development of capital market innovations and new technologies with a consideration for regional Fintech solutions, e.g. distributed ledger technology."

Estonia and Lithuania vs. Blockchain industry

Both Estonia and Lithuania already have some history with DLT and with initial coin offerings (ICO) in particular.

In October 2017 the Central Bank of Lithuania issued an official opinion regarding ICOs. The four-page document compared it with traditional fundraising suggested to use the laws regulating securities, crowdfunding, collective investment schemes as guidelines when dealing with ICOs. It also, however, warned financial institutions off engaging in any virtual currency related activity by deeming them as “high risk”.

At the same time Estonia has been wildly supportive of the technology. The country readily adopted Blockchain and even plans to create its own token, estcoin. Estonia has been at the forefront of virtual currencies for quite some time — in 2014 they announced their e-residency program offering anyone to leave their financial life in Estonia.

The European Central Bank, however, is dead set against the idea saying that as a member of the EU Estonia is bound to using the Euro.

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