Lithuania opened its doors to cryptocurrency and all its derivatives including initial coin offerings with no regulations in place. While taking stock of what happened in the last 18 months, the country’s regulators have noted a surge in the ICO turnover that has seen approximately 576 million U.S dollars being invested in Initial Coin Offerings.
Due to these large amounts of money flowing through ICOs, all the concerned parties in the country held a meeting to find a way forward concerning ICOs and cryptocurrency at large. One strong point during the meeting which was chaired by the FNTT (financial crime investigation service), is that stronger regulations should be put in place to help timely seal loopholes that criminals may use to launder money through virtual currency among other ills that can be encouraged by weak or no cryptocurrency rules.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Bank of Lithuania, Justice, and the Economy ministries among other top governmental ministries. The meeting’s main agenda was to scrutinize the benefits and risk that the broader cryptocurrency industry has to the Lithuanian economy.
During the meeting, Antonio Mikulsk, director, FNTT, submitted that:
“The Financial Crime Investigation Service is advocating for innovation and for innovative technologies, but they should be subject to certain regulatory and control mechanisms. Virtual currency has huge cash flows, but worries about converting them into dollars and euros as quickly as possible, leaving virtual currencies as quickly as possible.”
Without regulations, the country has become a safe haven for crypto focused firms issuing ICOs. This has placed Lithuania on the front line with a 305 percent growth rate.
“We can apply the analogy to basketball players. The players want to play with clear rules: it is useful for players, judges, and fans as well. If someone wants to play without rules, such basketball can be played only in the yard,” an attendee contributed.
While regulations are important, striking a balance between restrictive and transparent laws are the major concerns for politicians and state institutions in Lithuania.
As the surge in the ICO turnover gets regulators in Lithuania thinking, do you think a country should have a regulatory framework around cryptocurrencies before the market grows out of bounds?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.