Thailand Prepares to Launch Pilot Project of Retail CBDC Transactions

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10,000 Participants to Join Thailand’s August-Long CBDC Retail Transaction Experiment; Krungsri Employees and Local Business Owners to Assist

In an exciting development, the Bank of Thailand is set to initiate a pilot project this month to test a central bank digital currency (CBDC) specifically designed for retail transactions. Operating within a regulatory sandbox, this groundbreaking initiative aims to explore the potential of CBDCs in everyday commerce. According to local media reports, three payment processors have been selected to participate in the project. The scale of the experiment is impressive, as up to 10,000 participants will have the opportunity to experience and provide feedback on this innovative CBDC during the entire month of August. This collaborative effort signifies a significant step forward in Thailand’s exploration of digital currency solutions.

The upcoming initiative will witness a collaboration among prominent financial institutions, including the Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), the Siam Commercial Bank, and the Singaporean payments service provider 2C2P. As part of this collaboration, each of these entities has launched an exclusive app, currently available to a select group of users. These innovative apps serve as multifunctional tools, serving both as digital wallets and QR code readers. By integrating these features, the participating businesses aim to provide a seamless and user-friendly experience for individuals involved in the pilot project. This strategic partnership highlights the commitment of these institutions towards exploring new possibilities in the realm of digital currencies and transforming retail transactions.

Also Read: Brazil’s Central Bank Picks 14 Participants for CBDC Pilot

To ensure the success of the initiative, a considerable workforce will be involved. Up to 2,000 employees of Krungsri, along with 100 local business owners, will be actively enlisted to provide their support. Furthermore, the initiative plans to expand its reach to the Ploenchit outpost of Krungsri, allowing employees and nearby businesses to participate in the trial program. This expansion mirrors the model implemented by Siam Commercial Bank, further enhancing the collaborative effort and increasing the potential impact of the pilot project.

Initially announced in August with the intention of commencing in 2022, the pilot program has experienced a shift in its approach. The Bank of Thailand now views the initiative as a “pilot to learn” rather than a full-fledged “pilot launch.” As of now, there are no definitive plans for the central bank to establish a formal central bank digital currency (CBDC). This adjustment reflects a more exploratory and knowledge-gaining phase for the pilot program.

Back in 2018, the Bank of Thailand made a notable announcement stating its plans to embark on the development of a wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC). To further this endeavor, the bank formed collaborative partnerships with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) through the Inthanon-Lion Rock initiative. Additionally, the Bank of International Settlements facilitated the mBridge cross-border payment initiative, serving as another avenue for advancing the wholesale CBDC project. These strategic alliances signify the Bank of Thailand’s commitment to exploring innovative solutions in the digital currency landscape.

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The government of Thailand recently made a significant decision in March, exempting enterprises that issue investment tokens from corporate income tax and value-added tax. While this move is expected to result in a loss of approximately $1 billion in income over the next two years, the government anticipates generating a substantial amount of $3.7 billion through investment tokens. This strategic measure aims to foster growth and encourage investment in the country’s tokenized assets sector, showcasing Thailand’s commitment to creating a favorable environment for emerging technologies and digital financial innovations.

Also Read: Texas opposes Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)

Important: This article is intended solely for informational purposes. It should not be considered or relied upon as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other form of advice.

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