In addition to its wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) projects and proof-of-concept retail CBDC testing with corporations, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) will expand the scope of retail-focused CBDC development to a pilot phase. The possible real application of “Retail CBDC” will be within the private sector on a limited scale.

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Like August 5 ad on the official page of the BOT goes:

“BOT will evaluate the benefits and associated risks of the pilot project in order to formulate appropriate policies and improve the design of the CBDC in the future.”

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The pilot is divided into two tracks. During the first – “Foundation track” – CBDC will be tested in transactions similar to cash, that is, payment for goods and services, in limited areas and at a scale of 10,000 retail users. Three companies will take part in the experiment – Bank of Ayudhya, Siam Commercial Bank and 2C2P. Testing should begin at the end of 2022 and last until mid-2023.

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The second phase, dubbed the “Innovation Track”, will focus on presenting innovative use cases for CBDC. The private sector and the public will have the opportunity to present their retail use cases for CBDC at the CBDC Hackathon, which will take place from August 5 to September 12, 2022. Selected participants will receive mentoring from experienced financial institutions.

At the same time, BOT does not plan to issue retail CBDCs “because the issuance requires careful consideration” of the risks and rewards for the financial system as a whole.

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