VILNIUS, June 8 (Xinhua) -- The Lithuanian Finance Ministry released on Friday the comprehensive guidelines for initial coin offerings (ICO) amid the country's efforts to become a location for ICO projects.
The Baltic state becomes one of the first countries in the EU to provide clarity on launching ICO projects, or sales of virtual tokens, according to the Lithuanian finance ministry.
The ministry hopes the guidelines on how Lithuania treats businesses raising funds through ICO projects, would attract investors and entrepreneurs to the Baltic country.
"We should make our efforts for Lithuania to become the main headquarters for those ICO project promoters which are willing to operate in a transparent and orderly legal environment," Minister of Finance Vilius Sapoka was quoted as saying in a press release.
The guidelines cover regulatory, corporate, indirect taxation, accounting and anti-money laundering aspects for ICO projects.
In its guidelines, the Lithuanian Finance Ministry describes by detail the conditions under which released tokens can be described as security and be subject to legislation on financial markets instruments, securities, collective investment subjects.
The document also describes which funds raised through ICOs are subject to corporate or personal income taxes, value added tax.
Efforts by the Lithuanian government to attract ICO projects to the country comes amid increasing number of Lithuanian ICO projects which are mostly launched using entities registered in Gibraltar, Switzerland and Virgin Islands.
Lithuania, a small Baltic State with a population of less than 3 million, has managed to gain a foothold in global ICO market which is unregulated.
In 2017, Lithuanian ICO projects have raised more than 400 million euros (470 million U.S. dollars) worldwide, according to the Lithuanian finance ministry.
"It takes up to 10 percent of total world market," says the ministry.
The Central bank of Lithuania recently said that ICO projects managed by Lithuanians have raised at least 250 million U.S. dollars worldwide in the first three months of this year.