The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has announced plans to develop a wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) that will use the R3-Corda platform in a press release published on August 21st.
A CBDC is a digital currency issued by a central bank whose legal payment status depends on government regulation or legislation. The "wholesale" variant of CBDC restricts its use to financial institutions and markets, in contrast to a "retail CBDC" for the general public.
R3 & s Corda, for its part, is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform that is designed to operate within the financial sector and uses an authorized system to restrict access to the required participants.
According to the announcement, the BoT cooperates with eight financial institutions in the CBDC project – including Bangkok Bank Public, Krung Thai, Siam Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC.
In what BoT describes as a "collaborative milestone", the participating banks will jointly design and develop the proof-of-concept prototype of wholesale CBDC, the first phase of which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019. Project Inthanon, reportedly, aims to "improve the efficiency of the Thai financial market infrastructure" and to contribute to the design of its future evolution.
The announcement also reveals that in addition to Project Inthanon, the BoT "executes a DLT (distributed ledger technology) test" proof of concept "for scripless government savings on savings products to improve operational efficiency."
CBDCs continue to arouse their interest and share opinions in the banking sector around the world. During the Deconomy conference in South Korea, R3 & # 39; s research director Anthony Lewis predicted in April that the efforts to develop wide-angle CBDCs would accelerate in 2018, as an increasing number of institutions recognize the potential benefits their issue can be achieved.
Retail CBDCs have now given a more cautious answer. In March, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) declared that "a general goal [retail] CBDC could lead to greater instability in the financing of corporate bank deposits & # 39; s "and possibly a faster bank run for fuel, an opinion that was repeated by the Bank of England in May.