Thailand Central Bank to Launch CBDC Pilot, But Still Not Keen on Crypto

Thailand Central Bank to Launch CBDC Pilot, But Still Not Keen on Crypto
  • The Central Bank of Thailand wants the CBDCmBridge pilot for cross-border remittances to be implemented within five years. 
  • Thailand continues to suppress cryptocurrencies.

On October 29, local media reported that the Bank of Thailand (BoT) continues to develop a CBDC but “must ensure that it provides additional benefits to the financial system with good risk management.” Banks had also developed a retail CBDC, but none of them had launched one yet. BoT Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said it would be another five years before one is officially launched in Thailand.

Thai regulators are weighing the risks and benefits of a digital baht. In addition, they draw comparisons with PromptPay, the country’s leading digital payment platform.

Thailand CBDC Pilot to Launch

The Bank of Thailand is partnering with two commercial banks (Siam Commercial Bank and Bank of Ayudhya) in a CBDC pilot program. Around 10,000 retail users will test the digital currency. Mid-2023. The Central Bank of Thailand is also exploring the programmability of a digital currency. This way, you can control who can use it and what they can spend it on.

Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) touted rogrammability as a critical feature of a CBDC. The BoT has worked with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, the Digital Currency Institute of the People’s Bank of China, and the Hong Kong BIS Innovation Center. The four have completed the first pilot project with a wholesale CBDC as part of the bridge project. mBridge has tested three types of transactions: CBDC issuance and redemption between commercial banks and central banks, cross-border payments in local currencies, and cross-border exchanges in foreign currencies between commercial banks.

Crypto Crackdown

There have been mixed messages from Thailand’s military-backed government regarding digital assets. The country’s tourism ministry is trying to attract digital nomads and promote Thailand as crypto-friendly. However, central bankers and financial regulators have different ideas. Last month, the Bangkok Post reported that Thailand’s dreams of becoming a crypto hub were dashed as the screws were tightened. The SEC targeted local exchanges and their executives and, earlier this year, banned digital assets for payments.

Thailand seems to be copying China. He wants a highly centralized, government-controlled digital currency but doesn’t like cryptocurrencies.

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