The Bank of Thailand has published the results of a new study into how to manage the implications of issuing a retail central bank digital currency (CDBC) for the country’s financial sector. As distinct from a wholesale CBDC, which is limited to use by financial institutions and intermediaries, a retail CBDC is widely available for use by the general public. Several central banks across countries are exploring CBDCs.
Bank of Thailand plans to begin testing a CBDC next year.
The Bank of Thailand has been engaged in CBDC research and development and plans to begin testing a CBDC next year. Unlike the BoT, not all these central banks across the world have committed to trialing specifically retail CBDCs. According to the central bank’s latest study, BoT has disclosed three key conclusions to ensure that retail CBDC issuance does not present risks for financial stability. The central bank thinks a retail CBDC may have an adverse effect on monetary policy transmission or existing financial institutions.
Public demand for a retail CBDC will grow over time.
The Bank of Thailand predicts that public demand for a retail CBDC will grow over time and could lead to such a currency becoming an alternative form of payment in the future, in lieu of cash and existing forms of e-money. The central bank further disclosed the details of its planned pilot for a retail CBDC in real-world situations. The CBDC pilot will be split into two tracks. The “Foundation Track” part of the pilot will begin in Q2 2022 and will involve using the currency to conduct cash-like activities at a limited scale, e.g., as payment or receipt for goods and services, as well as for conversion.