Thailand's Central Bank (BoT) has announced that it will roll out a prototype for digital currency payments within the country's business ecosystems.
The initiative will be based on an ongoing CBDC project dubbed ‘Inthanon, ‘ which kicked off two years ago in collaboration with Thai's leading financial institutions. This development comes amid a CBDC frenzy that has seen markets like China roll out a pilot for its digital yuan.
Thai's Proposed CBDC Prototype
The announcement by BoT noted that works on the CBDC prototype are set to commence in July with possible completion dates in early 2021.
According to the Thai financial watchdog, this step marks a significant milestone towards the adoption of CBDC's hence expected to boost financial innovation significantly. The press release highlights:
“The prototype is expected to serve as a financial innovation that enables higher payment efficiency for businesses such as increasing flexibility for fund transfers, or delivering faster and more agile payments between suppliers,”
Notably, Thai's CBDC prototype will first be integrated with the country's oldest cement firm, Siam Limited. This will also include Siam's suppliers to create a complete ecosystem to test run CBDC payments in Thailand.
While this will be the initial pilot of a Thai CBDC, the country had already begun exploring the niche in a partnership with Hong Kong's Central Bank. The two have already completed the creation of a cross-border prototype meant to boost trade between them.
The CBDC Frenzy
CBDC's had become a hot topic in crypto within the past months and peaked when China rolled out a digital yuan. This pilot was launched in 4 cities and is expected to be scaled to other regions with a possible massive use once proven successful.
France is also running a test of a digital Euro in a bid to keep up with developments. Interestingly, the U.S appears quite laid back and is yet to signal the possibility of a digital dollar despite suggestions by some stakeholders in the markets and administration to create one.