The Central Bank of Thailand announced there will be a delay in its testing of the retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). According to a report in Reuters, the central bank will now start the retail CBDC pilot towards the end of 2022 instead of the second quarter as planned earlier.
Thai Central Bank is looking to build an alternative retail payment infrastructure with its CBDC and begin its trials for cash-based activities soon. The first trials would begin on a small scale involving around ten thousand users. The starting of the test phase would see CBDC use for cash withdrawal and transfers along with small and medium-size retail payments.
Deputy central bank director Kasidit Tansanguan said that the central bank is in no hurry and will take things slowly. He explained,
“Thailand can still take a gradual step in the retail CBDC to ensure efficiency and prudence as it does have a problem with fund transfers or payments as some other countries.”
The retail CBDC development is in no way to compete against the traditional crypto market or stablecoin market, it is being purely developed fr0m a native financial point of view. CBDCs are expected to bring down miscellaneous costs to a great extent.
China is leading the retail CBDC development
China is currently at the forefront of CBDC development and use. The country that has banned all cryptocurrencies more than a dozen times has been developing its stablecoin since 2014 and it is currently being tested at a mass scale involving millions of people and thousands of retail chains. The CBDC development was completed in 2019 itself but it is yet to be released officially.
Thailand along with nearly a hundred other nations are currently actively working on developing their own CBDC. The likes of France, Switzerland, and several others have started pilot projects while the likes of South Korea and Russia plans to begin trials by 2022.
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