Thailand to test central bank digital currency with ‘Project Inthanon’

Thailand will launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as part of Project Inthanon – a venture that will introduce a number of blockchain-based applications into the country’s banking world.

In a speech made at a financial summit in Singapore, Bank of Thailand (BoT) governor Veerathai Santiprabhob unveiled the plans and restated the BoT’s committment to research into blockchain technology in areas such as supply chain, bond issuance and letters of guarantee.

He said: “The Bank of Thailand and banks will co-develop a new way of conducting interbank settlement using wholesale central bank digital currency.

“Like other central banks, our goal is not to immediately bring CBDC into use, but rather to explore its potential and implications for back office operations. These efforts should pave the way for faster and cheaper transaction and validation due to less intermediation process needed compared to the current systems.”

The hope is that Project Inthanon will result in faster and cheaper settlements between banks, and a launch is thought to be planned for September.

The Thailand Blockchain Community Initiative – established in March 2018 – consists of 14 Thai banks, the BoT and seven state-owned enterprises and large corporations.