Thailand currency

Thai central bank to test digital retail currency later than expected

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s central bank said on Friday it plans to test its retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) for the public in late 2022, later than expected, as an alternative payment option.

The pilot project, previously scheduled for the second quarter of 2022, will assess the use of the CBDC in cash-like activities on a limited scale, central bank deputy director Kasidit Tansanguan said at a press conference. .

The project will involve transactions such as deposits, withdrawals and transfers of funds by financial institutions and around 10,000 users.

After discussions with relevant parties and careful consideration, Thailand will proceed slowly, Kasidit said.

“Thailand can still take a gradual step in retail CBDC to ensure efficiency and prudence, as it has a problem with remittances or payments like some other countries,” he said.

Retail CBDC should not compete with cryptocurrency or stablecoins, but aims to reduce financial costs, he added.

A retail CBDC is a digital form of currency issued by a central bank comparable to physical banknotes. It can be used in both online and offline financial transactions.

The BOT, however, said it does not support the use of digital assets, such as bitcoin and ether, as payment for goods and services due to the risk.

(Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon; writing by Orathai Sriring; editing by Jacqueline Wong)