On June 5, the Bank of Thailand's (BoT) governor, Veerathai Santiprabhob, announced the bank has been researching the benefits of blockchain technology and is considering issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
During his keynote speech at the Nomura Investment Forum Asia 2018 in Singapore, Santiprabhob spoke about "Project Inthanon," which BoT is co-developing with other unspecified banks. The project aims to create a CBDC in hopes to improve interbank settlements. Santiprabhob added:
"Our goal is not to immediately bring CBDC into use, but rather to explore its potential and implications for back office operations. These efforts should pave way for faster and cheaper transaction and validation, due to less intermediation process needed compared to the current systems."
Santiprabhob also discussed the Thailand Blockchain Community Initiative, a pilot project that has BoT joining forces with 14 other Thai banks and seven prominent companies and state-owned entities to research the potential for blockchain-based letters of guarantee. Santiprabhob hopes this research will lead to improved efficiency and authentication in the area of supply chain finance. He also mentioned a project in the works to use blockchain technology for the improvement of savings bonds transactions between the BoT and retail investors.
In recent years, a number of governmental and nongovernmental entities in Thailand have implemented blockchain-based technologies. In March 2017, the Stock Exchange of Thailand launched a blockchain-based marketplace for startups. In August of last year, the State Railway of Thailand and the Thailand Post looked into blockchain technology to modernize their services. In September, Bank of Ayudhya collaborated with IRPC to create its own blockchain to facilitate cross-border transfers, and in May, it partnered with MUFG – Japan's largest bank – and the Standard Charter Bank of Singapore.