On July 23, Lithuania’s central bank will launch LBCOIN, a “blockchain-based digital collector coin.”
This is one of the first experiments by a central bank with digital currencies, although many more are under development around the world. A survey conducted in January 2020 among 66 central banks by the Bank for International Settlements showed that more than 80 per cent of them were developing a central bank digital currency.
The Bank of Lithuania said in a statement that this project is meant to “engage more people, especially the youth, in coin collecting” while gaining “valuable experience and knowledge in the field of digital currencies.”
According to the statement from the Bank of Lithuania, LBCOIN consists of a set of six digital tokens and a physical collector coin issued by the central bank. Buyers will be able to get the physical collector coin in exchange for six digital tokens. In total, the Bank of Lithuania will issue 24,000 blockchain-based digital tokens and 4,000 physical collector coins. Each digital token features one of the 20 signatories of the Act of Independence of Lithuania and belongs to one of the six signatory categories (with 4,000 digital tokens allotted to each category).
In size and form, the physical collector coin resembles a credit card, depicting the Act of Independence and its signatories, and has a face value of €19.18, the year of the country’s birth.
LBCOIN will be available for purchase from 23 July 2020, 08:00 (EEST/GMT+3), on the Bank of Lithuania’s e-shop lbcoin.lb.lt. Purchases are limited to six tokens per person, at the cost of €99. Sales will continue over a 30-month period, after which the e-shop will be closed, and no further sales made.
Analysts agree that this is an unusual project, and that it is hard to say whether a secondary market will form for these collectibles. The physical coin itself may be traded as a work of art. Neither the tokens, nor the coin, are to be used as a means of payment, according to the Bank of Lithuania.