The Bank of Thailand (BOT) is planning to begin testing a new digital currency-based payment system. The BOT originally announced plans for a new Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in August 2018.
A recent announcement by the Bank of Thailand claims that the BOT is ready to prototype the digital currency with businesses. In their press release, the bank acknowledges the importance of keeping up with financial innovation to enhance payment efficiencies.
While the goal of the project is to expand the CBDC’s scope and adoption, it will begin implementation with only large corporations. According to the press release, they will be testing to see if the project can help with “increasing flexibility for fund transfers, or delivering faster and more agile payments between suppliers.”
The project begins in July 2020 and will conclude by the end of the year. After the testing is complete, the BOT will release a summary of the experiment and its performance.
This project is just one of many CBDC projects that are being contemplated by countries around the globe. Even China, a country who has known to be hostile towards digital currencies, are working on their own CBDC.
The Thai CBDC project will build upon knowledge gained from Project Inthanon. Project Inthanon successfully completed a cross-border payment prototype using the CBDC in January of this year.
Eight other banks joined the Bank of Thailand in the Project Inthanon effort. These include Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited, Krung Thai Bank Public Company Limited, Bank of Ayudhya Public Company Limited, Kasikornbank Public Company Limited, Siam Commercial Bank Public Company Limited, Thanachart Bank Public Company Limited, Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) Public Company Limited, and The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.
Fun fact: Project Inthanon gets its name from the mountain Doi Inthanon. Doi Inthanon is the highest mountain in Thailand (8,415 ft) and is a popular tourist destination.