The Bank of Thailand has confirmed the launch of its retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot, set to be operational between late 2022 and mid-2023.
Deputy Governor of the central bank, Vachira Arromdee, stated that the study is expected to match the interest of other central banks, focusing mainly on the development of retail CBDC and its potential impacts across the banking industry.
The Bank of Thailand is among the first central banks to explore the potentials that come with retail CBDC for the future of their financial ecosystem. This move presents a chance for diversification of the Thai economy and increased opportunities of business for access to more user-friendly and cost-effective financial services.
The test will be separated into two phases: Foundation and Innovation. In the Foundation phase, the test will focus on the technology of the CBDC in payment activities through 10,000 retail consumers selected by the Bank of Thailand together with Bank of Ayudhya Public Company Limited, and Siam Commercial Bank Public Company Limited. In that context, the technology will be designed and developed by Giesecke+Devrient.
The Innovative stage is set to assess the programmability and development of central bank digital currency for a range of consumers, striving to observe real-world applications of CBDC and adapt its design to suit Thai retail users.Buy Crypto Now
Furthermore, the central bank announced a CBDC Hackathon to open up public discussion on the topic and encourage industry participation. The Bank of Thailand insisted that the pilot will determine the suitability of CBDC technology in Thai contexts, and does not guarantee issuance of retail central bank digital currencies.
Earlier in 2022, Thailand’s regulatory Securities and Exchange Commission banned crypto as a means of payment. In an official statement, the Bank of Thailand warned against using any crypto as a means of payment.