The Bank of Thailand has announced its commencement of a pilot project, set to launch this month, for testing a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) within a regulatory sandbox.
With a goal to involve up to 10,000 users, the project is scheduled to run until August 2023, providing insights into the implementation and feasibility of a CBDC in the retail sector.
The launch of an exclusive app
In a June 12 announcement, Prominent financial institutions, including Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), Siam Commercial Bank, and Singaporean payments service provider 2C2P, have joined forces in a CBDC test project.
Each entity has launched an exclusive app, currently available to a select group of users, as part of this collaborative effort. These apps serve as digital wallets and QR code readers, with the goal of delivering a seamless and user-friendly experience for participants in the pilot project.
Additionally, Krungsri, one of Thailand’s leading financial institutions, in collaboration with staff members and approximately 100 nearby merchants situated close to its Bangkok headquarters, has invited participants to engage in the testing phase of this digital currency.
With the next stage of testing, Krungsri has set a target of 2,000 participants. To participate, individuals are required to install a mobile banking app and fund their e-wallets. Once this is done, they can transfer the funds to the “digital baht” CBDC, which is equivalent to 1 THB (approximately $0.028).
Supporting the growth of the digital token industry
Since initiating the development of a wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) in 2018, the Bank of Thailand has actively participated in significant ventures, including the Bank for International Settlements’ mBridge cross-border payment project and the Project Inthanon-Lion Rock project in collaboration with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
In a further effort to promote the growth of the digital token industry, the Thai government made a move in March 2023 by waiving corporate income tax and value-added tax for companies issuing investment tokens.