The Bank of Thailand (BOT) are the next central bank to weigh in on the cryptocurrency debate, and it looks to be good news this time. Sort of anyway.
BOT want to develop a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), a cryptocurrency that will be issued by the bank and regulated by the bank. In this instance, BOT are looking at developing a wholesale CBDC, which means the actual tokens will not be available for retail use by the general public, rather, they will be set up to be used by financial institutions within certain markets.
So no, BOT are not creating their very own local cryptocurrency, but I guess a wholesale CBDC isn’t so far away from that.
The BOT CBDC will be the end result of a partnership between the BOT and R3’s Corda platform, a distributed ledger technology platform designed for use by companies high up within the financial sector. As a result of this, BOT have also called upon the assistance of a number of banks within Thailand, including Bangkok Bank Public, Krung Thai, Siam Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered and HSBC.
According to Cointelegraph:
“In what BoT describes as a ‘collaborative milestone,’ the participating banks will jointly design and develop the proof-of-concept wholesale CBDC prototype, the first phase of which is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2019. The effort, dubbed Project Inthanon, reportedly aims to ‘enhance efficiency of the Thai financial market infrastructure’ and contribute to the design of its future evolution.”
See more for yourself, here.
What does this mean for crypto in Thailand?
Nothing too significant as yet. Indeed, with the BOT working towards such a project, we might expect to see a wider adoption of cryptocurrency in the future but to the general public this CBDC isn’t going to have a huge impact. Moreover, it’s probably going to take a long time to develop, meaning we shouldn’t expect to see any huge amount of institutional interest in the likes of Bitcoin pick up within Thailand after this.
Slowly slowly though, in the long run this is good news for crypto adoption.