The world’s first digital collector coin from a Central Bank (CBDC)


In 2020, The Board of the Bank of Lithuania approved the sample of the physical version of the digital collector coin – an original silver coin bearing a denomination of €19.18 to commemorate the year of the Act of Independence of Lithuania. LBCOIN is dedicated to this prominent Act and its 20 signatories. This was subsequently launched in 2021 on the NEM Blockchain

“The physical version of LBCOIN is an original silver coin, bearing an unconventional denomination — €19.18 — to commemorate the year that the Act of Independence of Lithuania was signed. LBCOIN is dedicated to this prominent piece of legislation and its 20 signatories. The size and form of the physical coin resembles a credit card, depicting the Act of Independence of Lithuania and a digitized picture of the Council of Lithuania.” — Bank of Lithuania, 2020

Not only is this a great investment as a learning exercise, but it has real value as a physical Silver item. The physical coin is 36.36g of Silver (approx 1.28 Oz) and in the current market that would be valued at €35 or $36 (Price correct from August 2023).

The challenge

Bank of Lithuania wanted to celebrate the 1918 Act of Independence and the innovative role the 20 original signatories played in the creation and development of the Lithuanian state. 

At the same time, the Bank wanted to progress the Central bank’s understanding and use of virtual currencies, providing greater depth of understanding in numismatics and engaging younger citizens in coin collecting using elements of gamification and play.

The project was always intended to be a first step towards a full CBDC pilot which is now being discussed as a subsequent phase with the same partners

The project was to issue a digital collectible set of tokens, that could be held in custody by the Bank’s e-shop, held by retail customers and transacted between customers both directly and via an exchange (custodial market).

The approach

To celebrate the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 and its 20 signatories, the Bank of Lithuania, through LBCoin, issued 24,000 blockchain-based digital tokens and 4,000 physical silver collector coins.

Having purchased the digital coin, collectors received six randomly selected digital tokens, issued on a private blockchain. They were available for storage in a dedicated wallet at the LBCOIN e-shop, could be gifted to another person, exchanged with other collectors, transferred to a non-custodied wallet and redeemed for a physical silver coin with 19.18 EUR face value which is both collectible and spendable as legal tender.

The issuance of digital tokens through LBCOIN represented a significant step forward in regards to issuing, custodying and transmitting digital assets on behalf of a EU licensed bank.

Gamification – you swap digital tokens for a Physical Silver LBCOIN

I did this by swapping a token with another user Vlad, to ensure I had the full digital collection required for the physical coin, which you can see below:

Once the swap transaction was written to Blockchain, I then exchanged all six digital LBCOIN’s for the Physical Silver LBCOIN:

Once this transaction was confirmed and written to Blockchain, the transactions were complete and the Bank of Lithuania dispatched the Physical Silver LBCOIN to my home

Here is a video of the packaging and Silver LBCOIN — I have to say it is beautifully presented: 

Benefits & Outcomes

The project has directly led to:

  • An EU central bank issued digital assets (phase 1)
  • Allowing the bank to move into CBDC (phase 2)
  • Sale of digital assets and legal tender from a central bank to retail customers
  • Transfer, Store, P2P trading and Custodial storage of value in the form of a digital asset
  • Achieved on a public blockchain, in a regulated environment and has passed security and audit requirements, gone live and is in production now

The issuance was a step towards one of the Bank of Lithuania’s strategic aims; fintech innovation. It purposefully helped increase global CBDC knowledge and research by adapting, testing and piloting blockchain services in the financial sector. It intentionally furthered the bank’s understanding of the potential of digital currencies and is the first publicly available project in CBDC domain.

Further Info

“The experiment showed that a decentralised two-tier payment ecosystem could be used for the digital euro, as by employing different payment technologies it ensures higher resilience and security. The model is open and highly flexible; besides, the expertise of the Bank of Lithuania has shown that any new system can be easily integrated in this model,” said Marius Jurgilas, Member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.

On 14 July, the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) has decided to launch the investigation phase of the Digital Euro Project. Since last September, the Eurosystem’s high-level task force on central bank digital currency (CBDC) launched experiments in the four following areas: the digital euro ledger, privacy and anti-money laundering, limits on digital euro in circulation, and end-user access.

The Bank of Lithuania contributed to the experiment implemented by a working group coordinated by the Banque de France and joining experts from the Banca d’Italia, Banco de España, Banque Centrale du Luxembourg, Banque Nationale de Belgique, the Österreischische Nationalbank and the ECB. The group studied a hybrid digital euro model to assess the interaction between the centralised and the decentralised payment systems.



In 2022 the bank announced the project will be closed down as per the original plan:

Two years ago, the Bank of Lithuania issued the world’s first digital collector coin – LBCOIN, dedicated to the 1918 Act of Independence of Lithuania and its signatories. The blockchain-based LBCOIN consists of six digital tokens that can be exchanged for one physical silver collector coin. For the first two years, it was necessary to collect a set of 6 tokens from different token categories to exchange them for a physical coin, but now this is possible by exchanging any six tokens.

These conditions are provided for in the Regulations on the sale of LBCOIN. The regulations also stipulate that after another 6 months, i.e. as of 23 January 2023, the Bank of Lithuania’s e-shop dedicated to the sale of LBCOIN – – will be shut down and all the digital tokens contained therein will be destroyed. Therefore, any tokens purchased until then should be exchanged for a physical silver collector coin or transferred to a digital wallet on the public NEM blockchain* network.


© Antony Welfare 2024