August 16, 2022


The Bank of Thailand said it will begin testing its central bank digital currency in retail capacity later this year. It plans to test the currency for payments for goods and services, which includes 10,000 retail users and three companies.

Thailand’s central bank announced on August 5 that it will begin testing its central bank digital currency (CBDC) later this year. The Bank of Thailand published a press release saying that testing will take place later this year until mid-2023 and that it “recognizes the importance of digital central bank currencies as a new financial infrastructure.”

As such, the bank considers it necessary to expand the central bank’s digital currency experience to a beta stage “in which real-life digital currencies for retail digital currencies are implemented in cooperation with the private sector within a limited scope.” This is an important progress in terms of application and a sign that the country is keen to harness the benefits of the technology.

there will be Two priorities that the pilot program will focus onWhich the bank calls the foundation path and the innovation path. The first focuses on the efficiency and safety of the technology supporting CBD. The activities that would fall under this category are payments for goods and services, with 10,000 retail users and three companies selected for this purpose.

The innovation track focuses on programmability “that will facilitate the development of innovative use cases for CBD, resulting in new financial services for a wide range of clients.” Both the private and public sectors will be able to participate in the hackathon, where participants and selected teams will receive mentorship.

Thailand prepares for cryptocurrency

Thailand has been somewhat ambivalent about its stance on cryptocurrencies. In April 2022, there were some discussions about new regulations which led to a stifling crypto market in the country. Increased regulatory activity also halted Thailand’s oldest bank in its decision to take over the exchange.

Meanwhile, the Thai central bank was in no hurry to deploy the central bank digital currency. The head of the bank said that there are enough alternative payment options. Taxes on crypto transactions have also been deferred until 2024.

CBDC trials are a key priority

Besides regulation, central bank digital currencies have become the most important topic among governments and regulators. Almost all major countries are now working on CBD, and many have already started pilot programs.

Countries are now well aware of the benefits that technology brings, and they want to take advantage of it in both domestic and international transactions. Most of these countries are also good at allowing crypto to co-exist with digital issuance of national currencies.

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