Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) of Thailand

16th of June

Thailand plans to launch a pilot project to introduce the Central Bank of Thailand's (BoT) retail digital currency.

According to local media, three payment providers are taking part in the project and the project will last until August 2023, with plans to attract up to ten thousand users.

The Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), Siam Commercial Bank and financial services provider 2C2P from Singapore are mentioned as partners of the Central Bank of Thailand in the project. Each of them has already provided its users with a special app that includes a wallet and a QR code scanner.

Krungsri Bank plans to involve about two thousand employees and about a hundred vendors in the vicinity of the bank's head office in the project. It also plans to involve the bank's branch, which is located in a district of Bangkok, in the project. Sam Tanskul, managing director of Krungsri Innovate, said, "The bank needs to develop a strategy to differentiate the CB retail digital currency from our existing PromptPay service."
Siam Commercial Bank's pilot project will have a similar structure, including the involvement of employees and surrounding financial service providers.

It is worth noting that the Bank of Thailand categorises the project at this stage as an "experiment" rather than a full-fledged launch, and the central bank has no formal plans at present to introduce a retail digital currency. The project was originally planned to be implemented in 2022 and its development began in 2018.

In March 2023, Thailand abolished corporate income tax and value-added tax for companies issuing investment tokens. A government official said the country could lose about $1 billion in revenue, but investment tokens are expected to bring in up to $3.7 billion over the next two years.

Project perspectives

The launch of the Central Bank of Thailand's retail digital currency pilot is an important step in the development of digital financial technology in the country. Collaboration with payment providers such as Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), Siam Commercial Bank and 2C2P allows the project to expand its reach and attract more users to use the country's retail digital currency by the central bank.

However, despite all the benefits, Thailand's CB retail digital currency project is still at the experimental stage and its full implementation depends on results and user feedback, as well as the necessary regulatory and legislative measures to ensure the stability and robustness of the system.

Thailand shows excellent prospects for locating a business in this country: innovation, attracting investment, and a pleasant tax climate for non-resident companies.

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