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Bank of Thailand Develops Cryptocurrency Pilot Based on R3 Technology

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) – the country’s central bank has announced that it has made significant progress on its cryptocurrency pilot program. The country’s apex bank’s planned completion date for phase one of the project is Q1 2019.

Project Inthanon

In a press release published on Tuesday (August 21, 2018), the BoT said that it had secured partnerships with eight Thai-based financial institutions. The purpose of these collaborative efforts, according to the bank is to facilitate the creation of Project Inthanon – a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The plan is to have the CBDC run on R3’s proprietary distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform – Corda.

According to the press release:

The outcome and insights from Project Inthanon will contribute to the design of Thailand’s future financial market infrastructure. This is in line with similar projects embarked upon by other central banks such as the Bank of Canada, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. In addition to Project Inthanon, the BOT is conducting a DLT proof of concept for scripless government savings bond sale to improve operational efficiency.

The BoT plans to conclude, in tandem with its partners, the design, development, and testing of a proof-of-concept prototype for Project Inthanon. This prototype will facilitate domestic wholesale fund transfer via the CBDC. Most of the preliminary testing activities will focus on liquidity saving mechanisms, as well as risk management strategies. Phase one should be completed before the end of March 2019. Upon completion, the BoT plans to publish a detailed summary of the project.

Cryptocurrency in Thailand

While the BoT continues in its push to develop robust blockchain-based financial solutions, the cryptocurrency industry in the country continues to feel the impact of a few sweeping developments in the past few months. Beginning in June, the government released a detailed framework for cryptocurrency operations in the country covering both trading and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

The Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also approved seven cryptocurrencies while setting financial benchmarks for crypto exchanges and brokers as well as projects looking to carry out ICOs in the country. Earlier in August, the Commission also approved seven cryptocurrency exchanges.

What do you think about project Inthanon? Will the Thai Central Bank launch a state-issued digital currency? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.

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Thailand's Central Bank Is Developing a Digital Currency Based on R3 Tech

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has announced it expects to complete the first phase of a proof-of-concept trial for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by March 2019.

The Thai central bank said in a release on Tuesday that it has partnered with eight financial institutions in the country in a bid to create a CBDC based on Corda, a distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform developed by the enterprise-focused consortium startup R3.

The ultimate goal of the effort is to use the digital currency to facilitate interbank transactions and to “enhance efficiency of the Thai financial market infrastructure,” according to the announcement.

To assist with the so-called Project Inthanon, the BoT has signed up R3 as technological partner and eight other participating institutions, including Bangkok Bank Public, Krung Thai, Siam Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank (Thailand) and HSBC.

“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,” the bank said in the announcement.

It continued:

“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.”

The central bank’s governor first revealed the initial concept for the project in a speech in June, commenting at the time that the aim is to explore the potential of blockchain in facilitating cross-bank transactions before it can be formally launched at a larger scale.

With the launch of Project Inthanon, the BoT joins a growing group of central banking authorities to have started trialing DLT systems to facilitate interbank and cross-border transactions, including the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Bank of Canada.

The BoT also said in the release that it is currently conducting another DLT proof-of-concept designed to boost the efficiency of government bond sales.

Thai baht image via Shutterstock

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