The central bank of Lithuania has issued a statement that the possibility of regulation for digital currencies is being discussed, but no action is likely to be taken as the country monitors other such decisions throughout Europe.
The announcement comes two weeks after n warning, issued January 31, against the use of Bitcoin or other digital currencies among Lithuanians.
“The main message was that bitcoins are not regulated or supervised by the Lithuanian and European authorities,” a spokesperson for the bank said. “Users and investors should know that they are not protected and their losses will not be compensated.”
This wait-and-see approach could be a nod to the idea that Lithuania anticipates some kind of EU-wide policy on digital currencies in the future; right now, decisions are being made on a country-by-country basis.
Lithuania’s concerns over digital currencies are similar to what many other governments have expressed: a lack of regulation, a lack of consumer protection and possible money laundering.
The Bitcoin scene in Lithuania could be described as fledgling at best, but as we reported in December, at least one local business is trying to capitalize on the currency’s benefits. Nordorthopaedics, an orthopedic clinic in Kaunas, began accepting Bitcoin payments in early December in a move to attract medical tourists.