The Baltic countries are the current hub of cryptocurrencies with the region being aptly termed a crypto paradise for its high density of BTC full nodes, support from local governments, and potent ICO (Initial Coin Offering) activity. While Lithuanian ICOs regularly raise over a few million USD, Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, is among the top 10 nations for blockchain technology in the world.
Investment Opportunities for Crypto Businesses in the Baltic Region
While each of the three major Baltic states struck a mutual accord to support blockchain technology, they encourage individual developments in the field too. Let’s take a look at the three leading Baltic states and where they stand from an investor’s perspective.
Having established itself as a technologically advanced and open-minded community, Estonia now has the highest per capita startups in Europe. Some of its most renowned success stories include Skype and TransferWise.
In terms of blockchain, Estonia isn’t far behind. The nation has been dabbling with technology since early 2008. And Estonian data registries has been using blockchain since 2012. Estonia prefers KSI Blockchain, which is also used by the European Union IT industry, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, and US Department of Defence.
Moreover, Estonia uses blockchain technology in a range of services like e-Land Registry, e-Business Registry, e-Banking, e-Police Data, e-Health Record, e-Law, e-Court, and e-Prescription. These systems are a part of the broader e-Estonia movement to aid how citizens interact with the government.
One of the most innovative initiatives is the e-Residency program that was launched back in 2014. It allows non-Estonians to access a range of everyday services like banking, company formation, taxation, and payment processes. This movement was designed to benefit location-independent entrepreneurs like writers and software developers.
A few of Estonia’s most reputed blockchain startups include Mothership, a cryptocurrency exchange, FutureComes and Eleks, two prominent blockchain technology providers, and Funderbeam, a trading platform.
Although Latvia is not overly visible in the global blockchain community, the nation has taken several serious initiatives. For starters, Latvia is home to Baltic Honeybadger, a key blockchain conference. The nation is also attracting an increasing number of entrepreneurs looking to raise funds through ICOs.
Back in 2014, Latvia’s national airline, AirBaltic, became the first company to accept crypto payments. While Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty was the first realtor to accept crypto payments for property transactions. Crypto gambling is a thriving industry in Latvia and sites like latvijaskazino.com have the complete list of crypto casinos in the region.
A few of Latvia’s prime blockchain startups include digital assets inheritance platform Digipulse, cryptocurrency exchange platform Hodl Hodl, and PowerMining, a company responsible for building mining farms out of old shipping containers and delivering them around the world.
BitFury is another interesting example. Although registered in the US, the firm was built by Valery Vavilov, a Latvian native, and the platform remains active in the crypto community. BitFury delivers hardware and software solutions for governments, industries, businesses, and individuals.
Lithuania has been promoting itself as the gateway to the European Union for Fintech firms for a while. The government has also boosted efforts to develop the local blockchain community and promote growth in the field.
Among the noteworthy initiatives, Bank of Lithuania’s LBChain is the world’s first technological regulatory sandbox platform service that allows local and international companies to develop and test blockchain-based technologies on a single platform.
Lithuanian ICOs have raised hundreds of millions of dollars in the past couple of years and is the third-largest market behind the US and China. Some of the noteworthy startups include Universa Blockchain, a blockchain protocol for businesses, WePower, a trading platform, and a startup online bank named Bankera.
Total investments in the Baltic region between 2018 and 2019 amounted to EUR 329.6 million. Lithuania stood at the forefront with the largest number of startups – 920. Estonia came in a close second with 650 startups, while Latvia came third with 518 startups.
Dynamic growth is evident in the region. Considering the current circumstances, crypto businesses are projected to boom in the next few years. Baltic startups will soon celebrate another major financial success at the end of the decade, with new unicorns and new investors benefiting the most.