December 8, 2023

In addition to the central bank’s wholesale digital currency (CBDC) projects and Retail CBDC proof-of-concept trials with companies, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) will expand the scope of retail-targeted CBDC development in a pilot phase. A possible real-world implementation of “Retail CBDC” will take place within the private sector on a limited scale.

As on August 5th announcement on the official BOT page it goes:

“The BOT will assess the benefits and associated risks from the Pilot to formulate relevant policies and improve CBDC planning in the future.”

The pilot is split into two trajectories. During the first — a “Foundation track” — the CBDC will be tested on cash-like activities, i.e. payments for goods and services, in limited areas and at a scale of 10,000 retail users. The experiment will involve three companies — Bank of Ayudhya, Siam Commercial Bank and 2C2P. Trials will begin in late 2022 and last until mid-2023.

A second phase called “Innovation Track” will focus on presenting innovative use cases for CBDC. The private sector and the public will have the opportunity to present their use cases for Retail CBDC through a “CBDC Hackathon”, which will take place from August 5 to September 12, 2022. Selected participants will be mentored by experienced financial institutions .

Meanwhile, the BOT does not plan to issue retail CBDCs, “as the issuance requires a thorough consideration” of the risks and benefits to the financial system in general.

Related: Strict Thai crypto regulation forces SCB to delay Bitkub acquisition

On August 4, Thailand’s financial regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) granted operating licenses to four digital asset operators, despite the uproar over Singapore’s Zipmex exchange, which suspended withdrawals for clients in the country in July . Cryptocurrency volumes in Thailand surged nearly 600% in early 2021 as the bull market built momentum.