The Bank of Thailand has announced the start of a pilot project, which is set to begin this month, for testing a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) within a regulatory sandbox.
The project aims to involve up to 10,000 users and will continue until August 2023, providing insights into the implementation and feasibility of a CBDC in the retail sector.
To support this initiative, prominent financial institutions such as Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), Siam Commercial Bank, and Singaporean payments service provider 2C2P have collaborated in a CBDC test project.
Each institution has developed an exclusive app, currently available to a select group of users, as part of this joint effort. These apps function as digital wallets and QR code readers, aiming to provide a smooth and user-friendly experience for participants in the pilot project.
Furthermore, Krungsri, one of Thailand’s leading financial institutions, has invited participants to engage in the testing phase of this digital currency in collaboration with its staff members and approximately 100 nearby merchants located near its Bangkok headquarters.
In the next testing stage, Krungsri has set a target of 2,000 participants. Interested individuals need to install a mobile banking app and fund their e-wallets. Once completed, they can transfer the funds to the “digital baht” CBDC, which is equivalent to 1 THB (approximately $0.028).
In its commitment to support the growth of the digital token industry, the Bank of Thailand has been actively involved in significant initiatives, including the development of a wholesale CBDC since 2018, participation in the Bank for International Settlements’ mBridge cross-border payment project, and collaboration with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on the Project Inthanon-Lion Rock project.
Furthermore, the Thai government took a step in March 2023 to promote the growth of the digital token industry by waiving corporate income tax and value-added tax for companies that issue investment tokens.