The march towards the adoption of blockchain technology in Thailand’s mainstream financial sector seems unstoppable.
In a speech delivered during the Bloomberg ASEAN Business Summit, the governor of the Bank of Thailand, Dr. Veerathai Santiprabhob, revealed that the central bank was undertaking a review of blockchain applications for purposes of document authentication, supply chain financing and cross-border payments. This is being carried out through the central bank’s regulatory sandbox.
"The sandbox serves as a platform for financial institutions and FinTech firms to test new technologies and operating standards in a safe environment before the products and services are launched to the general public,” said Santiprabhob. “Technologies under (sic) reviewed include ... blockchain applications for cross-border payments, supply chain financing, and document authentication."
Blockchain-Powered Regional Connectivity
The governor of the Bank of Thailand also affirmed the central bank’s commitment to regional connectivity. One way of achieving this, according to Santiprabhob, was through the use of blockchain applications that enable cross-border payments.
Santiprabhob also said that the central bank was looking to apply blockchain technology, and other technologies such as biometrics, in safeguarding financial information so as to reduce fraud.
This is not the first time that the Bank of Thailand has demonstrated its commitment to blockchain technology. Early last month, as CCN reported, the central bank governor disclosed that the Bank of Thailand was working hand in hand with the country’s financial sector, under the Thailand Blockchain Community Initiative which was launched in March this year, in order to harness blockchain technology in banking. The initiative brought together 14 commercial banks as well as seven public and private enterprises.
Central Bank Digital Currency
One of the goals of the initiative is to provide blockchain-based letters of guarantee. The initiative also aims to use blockchain applications to reduce the time it takes to allocate bonds to retail investors to 2 days from 15 days.
Additionally, the governor of BoT also disclosed that the initiative was working on ‘Project Inthanon’ which would see a central bank digital currency launched. The CBDC would primarily be used to conduct interbank settlements.
“Another project in the pipeline is the “Project Inthanon” in which the Bank of Thailand and banks will co-develop a new way of conducting interbank settlement using wholesale central bank digital currency or CBDCs. Like other central banks, our goal is not to immediately bring CBDC into use, but rather to explore its potential and implications for back office operations,” Santiprabhob said early last month in a speech which was delivered at the 2018 Nomura Investment Forum Asia held in Singapore.
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