10,000 people, three large banks, and a restricted retail environment will be used to evaluate the Retail CBDC.
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) will broaden the scope of CBDC development focused on retail to a pilot phase in addition to its wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) initiatives and proof-of-concept Retail CBDC testing with corporates. The “Retail CBDC” will be tested on a small scale inside the private sector as a potential real-world application.
According to the Aug. 5 announcement on the BOT’s web page:
“The BOT will assess the benefits and associated risks from the Pilot to formulate related policies and improve the CBDC design in the future.”
There are two distinct tracks for the pilot. CBDC will be evaluated in cash-like activities, i.e., paying for products and services, in constrained locations and on a scale of 10,000 retail customers, during the first one, dubbed the “Foundation track.” Three companies—the Bank of Ayudhya, Siam Commercial Bank, and 2C2P—will take part in the project. Beginning at the end of 2022, the testing should extend until the middle of 2023.
Presenting creative use cases for CBDC will be the primary goal of the second phase, nicknamed the “Innovation track.” Through a “CBDC Hackathon,” which will take place from August 5 to September 12, 2022, the public and the commercial sector will have the opportunity to demonstrate their use cases for CBDC. Mentorship from seasoned financial organizations will be provided to selected participants.
The BOT has no immediate plans to issue CBDC since doing so “needs extensive assessment” of the costs and advantages for the financial system as a whole.
Despite the controversy surrounding the Singaporean exchange Zipmex, which in July blocked withdrawals for consumers in the nation, Thailand’s financial watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on August 4 issued operating licenses to four digital asset companies. As the bull market gained traction, crypto volumes in Thailand increased by about 600 percent at the beginning of 2021.