Blockchain or bust: a snapshot of Lithuania's bustling fintech profile

Blockchain or bust: a snapshot of Lithuania's bustling fintech profile

When it comes to global powerhouse financial markets, a city that has always centred the discussions is undoubtedly London. The English capital has traditionally had the lion's share of successful financial organisations and consistently ranks as the best city for finance in the world, (second - on occasion - to New York), and you could easily prophesize that it will always be the financial king of the Europe.

While this might be true, the rise of financial technology markets and organisations has left the finance industry prone to disruption and the cities investing in fintech are likely to seriously bolster their positions in finance realms. London has done a pretty good job at keeping a steady ship for fintech companies thus far, but with Brexit on the horizon, there might be potential for other neighbours to build their status as fintech hubs.

One country that is doing exactly that is Lithuania, which has been in the process of executing a huge effort to entice a range of fintech companies - both old and new - to set up business in the country. A report by Invest Lithuania suggests that the country is home to a total of 117 fintechs (including Barclays, Danske Bank, and popular UK start-up Revolut), with 35 new companies setting up shop in 2017. These aren't bad figures when considering the population of Lithuania - at roughly 2.8 million - is just over a third of the size of London. It also has 31,500 people employed in IT, with about 1,870 of those in fintech alone.


Why is Lithuania attracting fintechs?

If there is one thing that financial institutions - including fintechs - love, it's a good regulatory environment, and the Lithuanian government has made significant strides in making it easy and cheap for a wide range of fintechs to set up shop, with minimal red tape. It assures the fastest issuance of e-money or payment licences to fintech institutions with a turnaround of three months, which is impressive given the fact that many of its euro neighbours have delivery times of up to 12 months.

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Pat Martlew

Patrick Martlew is a technology enthusiast and editorial guru that works the digital enterprise beat in London. After making his tech writing debut in Sydney, he has now made his way to the UK where he works to cover the very latest trends and provide top-grade expert analysis.

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