The Bank of Thailand has announced plans to test its retail digital currency for the public in the second quarter of 2022 as an alternative payment option, an assistant governor said on Thursday.
The retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) will not affect monetary policy or money supply in the system, Vachira Arromdee told a news conference.
The pilot project will evaluate the use of the CBDC in cash-like activities within a limited scale, such as accepting, converting, or paying for goods and services, she said.
The Bank of Thailand predicts demand for the CBDC digital currency will gradually increase and that it could become an alternative payment option, partially substituting cash and e-money, it said in a statement.
The central bank will assess results and risks from the test to ensure that the CBDC is beneficial to all and does not undermine economic and financial stability in the future, it said.
Digital Currency Investor Risks in Thailand
Meanwhile, as Thailand’s economy continues to tank more and more investors in the country are turning to cryptocurrency investment and trade which has raised concerns from the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
At the PostToday’s Cryptocurrency Forum 2021 on Wednesday Zipmex Thailand chief executive Akalarp Yimwilai said cryptocurrency trading value in Thailand spiked to 700-800 billion baht during the past 10 months and is expected to reach 1 trillion baht by the end of this year.
He said the number of local crypto traders has increased to more than 1.1 million people as of the end of July.
He said that despite surges in cryptocurrencies’ trading value and popularity, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) remains concerned about investors’ lack of knowledge.
For their part, investors view the rules and regulations pertaining to digital assets as obsolete and in dire need of a revamp to catch up with foreign markets. Regulations for digital asset trade are more advanced in foreign markets.
The SEC has reportedly received a lot of complaints about digital asset trading scams and urged investors to carefully study the benefits and risks of the products.
The regulator also recommended investors trade only with companies that are licensed by the SEC.