According to an August 21 press release circulated, BOT (The Bank of Thailand) has publicized plans to start up a wholesale CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) that is going to use R3’s Corda platform.
A Central Bank Digital Currency is a digital currency dispensed by a central bank with a legal tender standing that depends on government law or regulation. The “wholesale” variation of CBDC restricts its usage to financial markets or institutions, compared to a “retail Central Bank Digital Currency” for the general community.
As it is, R3’s Corda is a DLT (distributed ledger technology) platform which has been intended to work within the economic service sector and makes use of a permissioned structure to restrict information access to the necessary participants alone.
According to the proclamation, The Bank of Thailand is in partnership with eight financial institutes on the CBDC venture – including Krung Thai, Bangkok Bank Public, Siam Commercial Bank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered Bank.
In what The Bank of Thailand describes as a “collective milestone,” the banks that took part will jointly develop and design the POC (proof-of-concept) wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency prototype, the first stage of which is likely to be finished by 2019. The effort called Project Inthanon, allegedly aims to “improve the efficiency of the Thai commercial market structure” and add to the design of its future development.
The declaration further discloses that to add to Project Inthanon, The Bank of Thailand is “steering a distributed ledger technology proof of perception for scriptless administration savings bond sale to enhance operational efficiency.”
CBDCs continually divide opinions and draws interest within the banking sector across the ecosphere. At the Deconomy forum in South Korea held in April, Anthony Lewis, R3’s research director projected that efforts to improve wholesale CBDCs would hasten in the year 2018, due to a growing number of organizations recognizing the prospective benefits that might be reaped via their issuance.
Retail CBDCs, in the meantime, have drawn a more cautious response. In the month of March, BIS (the Bank for International Settlements) indicated that “a general resolve [retail] CBDC might give rise to an advanced uncertainty of commercial bank deposit capital” and in theory, fuel quicker bank runs, a view that was resonated by the Bank of England in the month of May.