The Bank of Thailand Announces the Launch of the CBDC Pilot Program Starting in July 2020

Central banks around the world are studying the application of central bank digital currency (CBDC), and the Bank of Thailand announced yesterday that it will launch the CBDC pilot program through the Inthanon-LionRock project in cooperation with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. The Bank of Thailand will study its feasibility and establish a set of procedures to apply CBDC to Inthanon-LionRock’s platform.

The Bank of Thailand believes that supporting financial innovation and technological development will help commercial organizations increase their competitiveness and prepare for the digital age. This pilot program represents an important step for large enterprises to expand the application of CBDC to the general public. This can increase the efficiency of the enterprise when paying, increase the flexibility of fund transfer, or make payments between suppliers, which can be faster.

The pilot program will begin in July this year and is expected to end at the end of this year, when the results of the research will be released. One of Thailand’s three major cement companies, Royal Elephant Cement and its digital service provider Digital Ventures Company, will apply the CBDC prototype to its procurement and financial management system.

The Central Bank of Thailand is convinced that continued cooperation with commercial institutions in financial innovation will enable financial services and businesses to enter the digital age faster and establish a foundation for development. At the same time, the Thai Central Bank is also open to private companies participating in the CBDC plan, hoping to continue to promote innovation and explore future application opportunities.

As for the Inthanon-LionRock project, it was led by the Central Bank of Thailand and the HKMA in May last year. At the end of last year, a total of 10 banks in Thailand and Hong Kong developed a basic proof-of-concept prototype for distributed ledger technology. The scope of the project research includes digital token exchange, real-time interbank fund transfer, and foreign exchange transactions.