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Thailand Central Bank to Test Retail Digital Currency for Next Year says Deputy Governor

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Deputy Governor Vachira Arromdee said the Bank of Thailand will begin testing digital currencies for retail customers in the second quarter of next year.

Thailand Central Bank will Be Fully Implemented in the Next 3-5 years

Reuters reported Friday that Aromdi further stated that the retail digital currency will be fully implemented in the next 3-5 years. Aromdi said, “This will not affect the Thai financial system.”

The Bank of Thailand is soliciting public feedback on the development and issuance of the Retail Central Bank (CBDC) digital currency, which will be released on June 15th. To this end, the Thai central bank has published a 59-page paper outlining its considerations on issuing digital currencies from the central bank to retail customers.

The central bank said, “We believe that a retail CBDC would provide a valuable option for citizens to benefit from a digital currency that is accessible, reliable and safe.” “It would also lay the groundwork for a safe payment infrastructure, building the foundation for interoperability and collaboration with the private sector to drive financial innovation.”

However, the planned work will not be without risks and challenges. Therefore, the central bank’s investigation of the retail CBDC must “consider policy implications, draft decisions and reduce risk measures”.

The Bank of Thailand is also active in the wholesale of digital currencies as part of the Inthanon project, which focuses exclusively on interbank payments. As The Block’s CBDC report recently highlighted, the project has been running since 2018 and is still in the proof-of-concept phase. The project has yet to examine the technical, regulatory, operational and legal considerations of CBDC in wholesale.

At the same time, the Bank of Thailand has expanded its attention to retail CBDCs for the general public in the hope that “the digital currency will play a bigger role in Thailand’s future financial landscape”.

The central bank said, “A retail CBDC could serve as a trusted and safe means of payment accessible by Thai households and business alike, existing alongside cash and other payment instruments.”  “As a reliable payment infrastructure, it could help safeguard the stability of the Thai financial and monetary system in the new financial landscape.”

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