Thailand’s central bank, the Bank of Thailand (BoT), recently announced its plans to complete the first phase of a proof-of-concept trial for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by March 2019. After eyeing a solution in the form of a digital currency that will help the bank settle transactions, the news of a cryptocurrency being formed by BoT is now official.
As the yesterday’s release stated, the Thai central bank has partnered with eight financial institutions in an attempt to create a CBDC based on Corda, which is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform developed by the enterprise-focused startup R3.
The main goal for BoT, understandably, is to use this cryptocurrency to facilitate interbank transactions and to “enhance the efficiency of the Thai financial market infrastructure” as the announcement reads.
BoT has signed up R3 as a technological partner in this new project – as well as eight other participating institutions including HSBC, Bangkok Bank Public, Krung Thai, Siam Commercial Bank and Standard Chartered Bank (Thailand).
As BoT stated in the announcement:
“Project Inthanon Phase 1 is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2019 after which the BoT will publish a project summary accordingly.
Building upon the findings and outcomes from Phase 1, the project participants aim to further develop the capabilities of the prototype for broader functions including third party funds transfer and cross-border funds transfer.”
As the governor first revealed when showing the initial concept for the project in June, the aim is to explore the potential of blockchain in facilitating cross-bank transactions before it is launched at a larger scale.
The BoT also noted that there is another DLT proof-of-concept being designed right now – all in order to boost the efficiency of government-bond sales.
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