The Bank of Thailand, the nation’s central bank, said on Friday that it is extending the scope of retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) development by starting a pilot study.
The central bank said in an announcement that it “deems it necessary to extend the scope of retail CBDC development to a pilot phase.” However, it also reiterated its stance and said that it does not have plans to issue a retail digital currency.
Deputy Governor of the Bank of Thailand, Vachira Arromdee, noted in the release that central banks around the world were seeing “the potential of retail CBDC as being the foundation of the future financial system.”
The latest pilot would be in addition to previous wholesale CBDC projects and the proof of concept study for retail CBDC being conducted with the help of the corporate sector.
The pilot phase will be aimed at testing real-life application of a retail CBDC and will be conducted with the support of the private sector. This will help the Bank of Thailand formulate related policies and improve the CBDC design, the announcement said.
The first of two tracks of the pilot will focus on assessing “the system’s efficiency and safety” by “conducting cash-like activities, such as paying for goods and services, within limited areas and scale of approximately 10,000 retail users selected by the Bank.”
This first track is expected to begin at the end of 2022 and last until mid-2023.
The Bank of Thailand has earlier said “don’t use crypto for payments” and Thailand’s SEC has banned the use of crypto as a means of payment from April 1, 2022.
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