Government officials in the Baltics have struck an accord that includes a commitment to support the development of technologies like blockchain.
In a newly released Memorandum of Understanding, the finance ministries for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania agree to cooperate on a number of actions to expand and develop their economies – a process which, as the document outlines, would include the promotion of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) to aid in capital market innovations.
In the memorandum, the countries note:
"The Estonian Ministry, the Latvian Ministry and the Lithuanian Ministry recognize the importance of the development of the capital market and a stronger institutional framework to handle the cross border challenges in the Baltic States. ... [And] supporting the development of capital market innovations and new technologies with a consideration for regional FinTech solutions, e.g. distributed ledger technology."
Neither Estonia nor Lithuania are new to the blockchain industry. Both nations have discussed initial coin offerings (ICOs) and other aspects of the technology in the past, with Lithuanian regulators issuing guidance related to the blockchain funding use case just last month.
The country took a cautious stance, letting consumers know that ICOs are unregulated and the risk of investors losing their funds is "particularly high."
Estonia, on the other hand, appears far more keen on the tech, going so far as to consider offering its own cryptocurrency for its e-residency program. While that "estcoin" effort been criticized by institutions like the European Central Bank, the country may still try to launch it as a "quasi-official entity."
Baltic flags image via Shutterstock