International cryptocurrency regulations tend to focus on two things, cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICO’s). Within this, the main focus always seems to be ensuring the protection of customers, a secondary justification also seems to lie within authorities wanting to prevent fraud and financial crime, such as money laundering. Oh, also, they want to tax the hell out of it all, so they can make some money too, that’s sort of expected though isn’t it.
Authorities in Lithuania have very recently published some new guidelines that highlight when assets from ICO’s should be considered securities, which in turn will allow for special sanctions to be placed upon them. The guidelines have been published in an official document online, which can be found here- http://finmin.lrv.lt/uploads/finmin/documents/files/ICO%20Guidelines%20Lithuania.pdf
The guidelines however, are accompanies by a disclaimer, which states the following:
“These Guidelines cannot be regarded as an official interpretation of the legislation. Bank of Lithuania, State Tax Inspectorate, The Authority of Audit, Accounting, Property Valuation and Insolvency Management and other relevant institutions make decisions taking into account the entirety of actual circumstances which may differ case by case.”
“These Guidelines cannot be regarded as the decision in a specific case. These Guidelines describe only part of the aspects examined by relevant institutions, in case of discrepancy between Guidelines and positions of institutions, the latter shall prevail. Due to novelty of this sector the relevant legal regulation can change following the supranational (EU) and (or) national legislative initiatives. Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as other state institutions reserve the right to amend these Guidelines or any part of it at any time.”
In essence, authorities are stating that ICO’s will be regulated based upon the rights each token donates to their new owners. So, for example, if a token sold by ICO means the new owner is able to receive a part of the company’s profit, the token will be considered as a security. New legislation will in turn follow this, however as it stands, no official legislation has been passed at government level.
Within this, new taxations will apply, and new accountancy regulations will apply, though again, each aspect of the guidelines remains just that, a guideline. Essentially, this new publication exists only as a prior warning, to what may happen within cryptocurrencies in Lithuania.
Overall, it seems as if authorities in Lithuania are taking a pro-cryptocurrency stance but believe that regulation needs to be focused on ICO’s, especially those that are issuing currencies that could be deemed as a security. This is positive news and I suggest that you take the time to read through the guidelines published. They at the very least highlight some positive investigations going on at an authoritative level within Lithuania.