The Bank of Thailand (BoT) will launch a retail CBDC pilot project. Limited-scale testing will take place in the private sector, according to the regulator.
“The BoT will evaluate the benefits and risks identified during the pilot project in order to formulate appropriate policies and improve instrument design in the future,” said in the press release.
The pilot project is divided into two phases. As part of the first, the regulator will test the digital currency in basic operations such as paying for goods and services. Tests will be held in a limited area with the participation of 10,000 users. At this stage, Bank of Ayudhya, Siam Commercial Bank and 2C2P will be involved in the experiment.
The initiative is expected to start at the end of 2022. The tests will last until mid-2023.
During the second phase, the BoT will test “innovative” use cases for CBDC. Businesses and the public will be able to propose their own retail application concepts. The regulator will hold a relevant event from August 5 to September 12, 2022.
The central bank stressed that they do not plan to issue a retail CBDC yet, as officials need to assess the benefits and risks of the instrument for the financial system.
Thailand has been working on a wholesale CBDC project for several years. In April 2021, the country took first place in the corresponding nomination of the PricewaterhouseCoopers rating.
In the same month, BoT announced its intention to launch testing of digital currency for retail transactions in Q2 2022. Apparently, these plans were later abandoned.
Recall that in May 2022, the Thai government exempted digital asset transfers involving licensed cryptocurrency exchanges from paying value added tax.
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