Lithuania to tighten crypto regulation, will require licensing in 2025

Lithuania is set to sharply reduce the number of crypto firms in the country as it tightens regulations and issues licenses next year.

In a Bloomberg interview on Apr. 2, Simonas Krėpšta, a board member at the Bank of Lithuania, revealed plans for a regulatory overhaul that will substantially decrease the presence of crypto firms in the country, which has positioned itself as a haven for financial technology startups in recent years.

According to Krepsta, Lithuania is now poised to implement stricter licensing requirements, potentially forcing numerous crypto companies to exit the market next year.

“The crypto industry failed in a lightly-regulated environment. We have quite a lot of evidence of that in the US, other European countries but also Lithuania. We saw quite a number of failures, embezzlement cases and similar which were quite a blow for the industry.”

Simonas Krepsta

Currently, Lithuania hosts around 580 crypto firms. However, only a fraction of these entities are expected to meet the criteria for obtaining full permits under the new regulatory framework, Krepsta says, adding that the licensing process is expected to come into force by June 2025.

Commenting on the surge of unregulated crypto enterprises in the region, Krepsta acknowledged concerns surrounding potential illicit activities such as money laundering and fraud. However, according to the official, the country is already developing its own legislative framework to govern crypto, enhancing the regulatory oversight capabilities of its local Financial Intelligence Unit.

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