On January 30, 2018, Lithuania’s Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka spoke to press at the Paris Fintech Forum about his country’s open approach to FinTech management and cryptocurrency regulation.
Šapoka believes there is potential in the application of blockchain platforms to a number of services, stating, «Blockchain is a very promising technology which can be used … not only in financial services, [but in] all kinds of registries, transactions, etcetera.» According to Šapoka, Lithuania is planning to introduce a blockchain-based service to the public.
Lithuania’s public sector seems to embrace the notion of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Thus far, the Bank of Lithuania has seen fit to launch a regulatory sandbox service, dubbed LBChain, to serve as an environment for researchers assessing regulatory approaches to foster economic growth. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Finance of Lithuania joined the Hyperledger foundation.
Šapoka didn’t back down when probed over the risks surrounding cryptocurrencies, and acknowledged that international and local governments were working towards regulatory solutions:
«Of course, risk is everywhere. You cannot even marry without risks. But … we cannot ignore this new phenomena of cryptocurrencies, and we do believe this area should be regulated … In Lithuania, we consider national regulation, but also the European Commission is considering to issue regulations in this area as well.»
Whether it comes from the European Commission or from G20 members, Šapoka maintains that regulation on an international basis is necessary.
«It doesn’t matter who is the first to initiate, but I am happy policymakers have started to discuss this issue and [that] they do believe this solution should be at a global level,» he concluded.