The world’s first collectible digital coin called LBCOIN was sent to the email inbox of European Central Bank policy makers on Monday from one of their colleagues.
The coin came to Governing Council members as a link to an e-wallet with six digital tokens. These tokens feature a portrait of one of the 20 signatories of Liithunai’s 1918 declaration of independence.
“I’m curious how popular this is going to be among Governing Council members,” said Vitas Vasiliauskas, Lithuania’s central bank governor. “I’ve asked for feedback,” he added.
Just last week, ECB President Christine Lagarde said that they would soon discuss whether or not the eurozone should create its very own digital currency.
Currently, finance chiefs of the euro region are working on devising a regime to regulate fiat-backed stablecoins.
Call for a Digital Euro
Before being sent to the colleagues, the LBCOIN was demonstrated at last week’s Governing Council meeting about how it works.
Based on blockchain technology, the project took three years to complete, Vasiliauskas said.
“We’re the first to issue” such a coin, he said. “The whole experience gave us ample possibilities to comprehend the technology.”
The users of the tokens can also trade them among themselves after activating the tokens. The specific set of them can also be exchanged for a credit card-sized physical coin that has a nominal value of 19.18 euros.
The central bank governor believes the LBCOIN experience will help ECB in reaching the decision on a digital euro. According to him, it was the social media giant Facebook’s stablecoin Libra that helped euro-area central banks in recognizing that digitization can revolutionize the financial system.
“We absolutely need to move forward, we see the Chinese are already testing it in practice, launching the CBDC in certain regions,” he said. “Europe shouldn’t sleep through this again.”