The Bank of Thailand (BOT) plans to begin a pilot study of a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) by the end of the year so it can assess risks and benefits for developing policies and designing a digital currency.
The real-life pilot study, in limited cooperation with the private sector, will extend the scope of the central bank’s previous CBDC developmental programs, it said in a news release on Friday.
The BOT was “among the first central banks to recognize CBDC as a novel financial infrastructure, with the potential to increase opportunities for business and the general public to have more convenient and greater access to diverse financial services with lower costs,” it said.
The pilot program will be divided into two parts, a foundation track to assess the system’s design with about 10,000 users paying for goods and services involving three companies, and an innovation track to facilitate the development of new financial services.
Still, the Thai central bank has no current plans to issue a retail CBDC because it requires “thorough consideration” of the risks and benefits, and it warned the public to beware of frauds and scams claiming to provide retail CBDC investments or services at this point.
Thailand said last year that a retail CBDC may be fully implemented in the next three to five years.
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