Trade and store crypto
Can I buy Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in Lithuania? Yes, you can.
An introduction to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading in Lithuania
Lithuania is a wholeheartedly pro-crypto destination and in many estimates over the past few years has often been described as one of the most welcoming destinations for crypto-related companies, in terms of legislation, that is! The country has actively created this legal environment for a crypto business whereby crypto activities are strictly regulated to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
Much of the latest legislation has been taken to be in line with subsequent changes at the EU level.
As such, Lithuania has become a strong European hub for fintech, and the capital, Vilnius, is home to increasing fintech startups as well as mainstream international financial companies. Much of the attractiveness is a deliberate policy with business-oriented legislation, including relatively low costs of registration, licensing, and maintenance of firms. It also boasts one of the fastest company registration processes in the EU and declares that it has one of Europe’s fastest and most reliable internet connections as well as a highly talented community of blockchain workers.
Cryptocurrency exchange services and wallet maintenance services are common and, with new legislative amendments, becoming more open and transparent all the time.
ICOs in Lithuania
Lithuania’s approach to ICOs has been continually evolving, in line with the country’s user-friendly crypto credentials. Depending on the type of supply, ICOs may be either exempt from regulatory action or subject to requirements applicable to the securities offering, crowdfunding, collective investment or investment services. For AML/CFT purposes, all crypto companies are thoroughly supervised by the Lithuanian Financial Crime Investigation Service FCIS.
Blockchain advancement and education in Lithuania
Once a crypto company is established and licensed there are plenty of non-governmental organizations that can support its progress. The Bank of Lithuania has launched a blockchain-based regulatory sandbox LBChain, which allows companies to test their business solutions in a controlled environment by providing regulatory and technological infrastructure. There is also the Blockchain Centre Vilnius, a worldwide network-based organization uniting individuals and assisting companies in promoting services within the blockchain space.
A Lithuanian CBDC?
Way back in 2020, a lifetime in crypto terms, the Bank of Lithuania, BoL, launched a CBDC, getting it ahead of many countries that were still evaluating and trialing such a concept – many CBDCs are still at that stage even now.
The central bank of Lithuania called it “the world’s first blockchain-based digital collector coin”. As a collector’s item, the CBDC was not an out-and-out transactional coin, and the event was followed by more assessment, but referred to as an advanced experiment. Either way, in many things crypto, Lithuania is a very willing advocate.
Bitcoin mining in Lithuania
Bitcoin mining is on the up and up in Lithuania, probably even more so now that the price of Bitcoin is rising from the doldrums of mid-2022. The rise in mining is due to the country’s inexpensive electricity, its cool climate (to keep those computers from overheating), and the country’s generally wide acceptance of crypto.
As more and more people become interested in Bitcoin, and as the price of Bitcoin continues to rise, we expect this trend to continue. If you’re thinking about setting up a mining operation in Lithuania, there is plenty to commend it having been recognized unofficially as the second cheapest country in Europe to mine Bitcoin. Added to all this is a very large crypto and blockchain community to gain inspiration from. A mining license is required but even that is a simple and relatively swift procedure.
Blockchain and crypto education in Lithuania
Lithuania is an avid blockchain country with many skilled people working in blockchain-related services and companies. One leading institution is Blockchain Lithuania – an open platform that connects the blockchain ecosystem stakeholders to share knowledge and promote the growth and development of the industry.
Many courses can be found, along with institutions that are available to help build the country’s blockchain community by collectively solving shared challenges and supporting the private and public sectors with capital, advice, and innovations.
Taxes in Lithuania
Bitcoin taxation in Lithuania
In so many countries, the taxation of Bitcoin and crypto is very much dependent upon whether the participant is a casual trader or a professional (regular trader). Investing as a professional, naturally, is likely to incur more tax considerations. In Lithuania, the crypto tax for anyone trading comes at an increased tax rate of 20% for all non-work-related income – thus including dividend income, interest income and capital gains – when the total gains are more than 120 times greater than the average salary for that taxation period.
In terms of professional crypto services VASPS, the taxation of cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet services is administered by the State Tax Inspectorate which considers the following activities taxable: mining, initial coin offerings, buying, selling, mediation, and settlement in such currencies for purchased or sold products or services.
Depending on the exact nature of the crypto activity, any company might be subject to:
Corporate Income Tax (CIT) – 15%
Value Added Tax (VAT) – 21%
State Social Insurance (SSI) – from 21%
Withholding Tax (WHT) – 15%
Corporate Income Tax is one of the lowest in the EU and is levied on the revenues generated by Lithuanian crypto companies. Depending on the residence status of a company, the tax is applied either to the worldwide income or income sourced in Lithuania.