• Thailand’s Central Bank postpones the CBDC Pilot Project until late 2022

  • Thailand has pushed out the trial date for its national digital currency from the second quarter of 2022 to a later date.

    The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has announced that the testing phase of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) would be postponed until late 2022.

    Thailand has rescheduled the CBDC test.

    Thailand aims to deploy the national digital currency as an alternate payment option to cash.

    Despite the delay, the central bank wants to use the pilot project to investigate the usage of a CDBC to supplement cash transactions within a limited skill set.

    During the pilot phase, select financial institutions and approximately 10,000 consumers will test the digital currency for online and offline transactions such as deposits, withdrawals, and fund transfers.

    In response to the news, deputy BOT director Kasidit Tansanguan stated that, after consulting with key partners, the BOT will proceed slowly to ensure efficiency.

    “Thailand can still take a progressive step in the retail CBDC to ensure efficiency and prudence because it does have an issue with fund transfers or payments like some other nations,” he noted.

    CBDC will reduce its reliance on cash.

    With the world increasingly embracing digital, particularly in the age of COVID, central banks around the world are attempting to lessen their dependency on currency.

    Some countries have already begun to use CBDC, while others are still trying it to see how it works. However, central banks have stated that CBDC will supplement rather than replace currency.

    While some countries, such as Nigeria and the Bahamas, have begun to use CBDC, others, such as China and Ghana, are already undergoing a pilot implementation program.

    Banks Provide Assistance CBDC is not a cryptocurrency.

    While central banks are increasingly adopting the idea of introducing a national digital currency, they continue to oppose and fear cryptocurrencies.

    Tansanguan stated that BOT plans to use its CBDC to lower financial costs rather than competing with crypto assets or stablecoins.

    The Bank of Thailand urged local banks and financial institutions earlier this month not to trade digital assets, stressing that it does not encourage the use of cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange for goods and services.

    Another source stated that Indonesia’s central bank intends to establish a CBDC to compete with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

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