Digital Currency Project Report by Thailand and Hong Kong Is Due to Release in Q1 2020

  • Thailand and Hong Kong have both been researching the potential use of digital currency by their central banks.
  • Senior executive director Edmond Lau of HKMA stated that there presently isn’t a need to issue digital currency for retail use.

Digital currency has been a topic of interest since the industry began, but the concept of implementing national versions of these currencies is becoming more and more appealing. Hong Kong and Thailand have expressed interest in establishing their own digital currency as well, controlled by their central banks. According to reports from The Block, we can expect a combined report from the two countries within the first 3 months of 2020.

The news was announced just this week by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), according to a local media outlet called EJ Insight. This was set up between the two giants in May 2019, allowing them to collectively research the risks and also the benefits of starting their own central bank digital currencies. Previously, the central banks had separately been researching CBDC’s through the LionRock and Inthanon projects.

By joining forces, the banks have been able to research the use of payment-versus-payment (PvP) settlement among the Hong Kong and Thailand banks, using a wholesale CBDC. The EJ Insight report stated that the HKMA has collaborated with the People’s Bank of China in several projects, using their digital currency research institute.

A senior CEO at HKMA, Edmond Lau, noted that the goal of the central bank is to concentrate more on the governmental side, and that there doesn’t appear to be a need for the issuance of this currency for retail users. As The Block summarizes, it also appears that the HKMA is going to use digital currency for their domestic interbank payments, wholesale-level corporate payments, and also securities settlement.

The Inthanon project has been an effort of the BoT since late summer of last year, while the HKMA has continued working on LionRock for the past 2 years.

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