Thailand to pilot crypto baht in first central bank digital currency project

Thailand to pilot crypto baht in first central bank digital currency project

Following in China’s footsteps, Thailand is accelerating its development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Siam Cement Group(SCG) has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bank of Thailand(BoT) and Digital Ventures, a subsidiary of Siam Commercial Bank, to develop a prototype of what could be a crypto baht.

According to local media, the venture aims to reduce transaction steps and processing time, which will be conducive to boosting business confidence and competitiveness while fostering fintech innovation in the kingdom.

In 2018, SCG partnered with Digital Ventures and adopted its blockchain payments platform. Company vice president, Thammasak Sethaudom, stated that the move was in line with SCG’s visions of:

“creating innovations to fulfil needs and rapidly changing customers’ behaviors, especially now with the ‘New Normal’ business landscape.”

The project is due to begin in July and will conclude by the end of the year, after which the BoT will publish a project summary. It is part of an initiative called “Project Inthanon” which is a collaborative effort by the central bank and eight leading financial institutions.

China, which has exerted a large influence over Thailand in recent years, is also accelerating the development of its CBDC. Leaked images of the wallet app and its functionality were revealed in April, as reported by Micky News.

Thailand’s currency, the Thai Baht (THB), has remained one of the strongest in the region despite the economy, which is largely based on tourism and exports, being crippled by the pandemic.

Featured image courtesy of Pixabay/Pexels

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