Lithuania Opens its Doors to the EU Single Market for the Singapore Blockchain Industryby Company Announcement December 22, 2017
Following the signing of a landmark agreement for fintech innovation between the Singapore FinTech Association and Lithuanian government-backed business advisory Invest Lithuania, Lithuania has announced it aims to become a gateway for Singapore’s blockchain industry to Europe and beyond.
Europe’s first international Blockchain Centre connecting Asia, Australia and Europe, will open its doors in the capital of Lithuania on 27th January 2018.
“When it comes to finance, innovation and technology, Singapore has been an example for Lithuania to follow, and a strategic partner in the fast-growing ASEAN market. Singapore is a natural gateway to Asia for European investors.
Lithuania is positioning itself as a gateway to Europe for Asian partners looking for opportunities in blockchain driven technologies.There is a powerful synergy between the two countries”,
said Paulius Kunčinas, Chairman of the Blockchain Centre Vilnius.
“We believe that the Blockchain Centre in Vilnius will become one of the leading initiatives that will unlock partnership opportunities between Lithuania and Singapore.”
Blockchain Centre Vilnius Founder and MEP, Antanas Guoga (better known in the digital community as “Tony G”) call Singapore “a natural partner” for Lithuania when it comes to financial innovation.
“A recent visit by a high level delegation to Singapore has confirmed a desire to forge closer ties both at the government and business level between the two countries.
Blockchain Centre Vilnius is offering a globally-networked blockchain hub and a friendly regulatory environment which will give access to the single market in the European Union. It goes with the overall positive attitude of EU institutions, which are ready to embrace blockchain technology,”
According to Guoga, there is huge interest among Singapore start-ups and investors to find European partners to collaborate with in the application of blockchain technology. The Blockchain Centre Vilnius Board and Investor Committee – which will help raise funds for blockchain start-ups – has already attracted leading blockchain business influencer – Lon Wong, President of NEM.io, which is based in Singapore.
Blockchain Centre Vilnius incubates and accelerates blockchain start-ups while sharing information about new blockchain opportunities with investors and businesses alike. Lithuania was selected by the Australian and Asian blockchain community as the network’s first location in Europe due to its political and economic stability, EU and eurozone membership, and favourable business and regulatory environment.
“Lithuania is capitalising on its stable jurisdiction and early commitment to innovation in finance and technology. Our country has everything to become Europe’s blockchain leader,”
emphasizes Mantas Katinas, head of the governmental agency Invest Lithuania.
“We are the ‘best in the EU’ for superfast licensing, direct access to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), and strong institutional support. This makes Lithuania the best point of entry for EU and non-EU fintechs.”
At the heart of these developments is the Central Bank of Lithuania which has embraced fintech innovation, and recently initiated a “start-up visa” that makes it easier to attract and retain top talent from non-EU countries. The Central Bank of Lithuania is taking a positive and proactive approach with regards to new fintech companies offering fast and efficient licensing, as well as a one-year sandbox environment.
E-signatures are widely utilized and accepted, and onboarding can even take place remotely via online video calls. Lithuania is already number one in Europe in fiber-optic penetration and boasts one of the world’s fastest internet networks which makes doing business online efficient and convenient. Lithuania’s regulators look positively towards emerging technologies and are open to giving progressive tech companies direct access to SEPA.
Blockchain Centre Vilnius is housed in a brand new riverfront office building just minutes from the Vilnius Old Town. Doors will open on January 27, 2018. The Centre welcomes inquiries, especially from start-ups, investors, and journalists.