Lithuanian Central Bank Seeks Developers for Blockchain Sandbox

Bank of Lithuania, the country's central bank, announced on Friday that it is soliciting proposals from software developers to kick off its LBChain initiative - a "service-based blockchain platform" aimed to serve as a regulatory sandbox for startups working with blockchain technology.

Introduced in January, LBChain is intended to assist both Lithuanian and international companies in acquiring knowledge of the blockchain and in conducting blockchain-focused research.

Bank of Lithuania said at that time that the project would "provide a technical platform and consultations on applicable regulations" to selected companies. The institution also indicated that the project would be financed by EU funds.

"Software developers have already shown considerable interest in LBChain," said Marius Jurgilas, a member of the Bank of Lithuania board, in an announcement.

He further commented:

"Created by a financial regulator, it is one of the first platforms of its kind, offering a unique chance for businesses to trial and implement their state-of-the-art fintech innovations to bring benefits to both customers and the financial system."

The project is part of a broader attempt to create a "fintech-conducive regulatory and supervisory ecosystem, as well as innovation fostering in the financial sector," according to the announcement.

Although the central bank said in January that it expected the platform to launch in 2019, it now indicates that that the implementation stage of the project is expected to be underway this summer.

Lithuania's central bank has involved itself in the blockchain space since the autumn of 2017, when it first issued initial coin offering (ICO) guidance. It subsequently revealed in February that it was probing a domestic ICO, which claimed to have raised 100 million euros, after concluding that the company's tokens qualified as securities.

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