Banking News

Bank of Thailand to trial central bank digital currency for corporate payments

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Yesterday, the Bank of Thailand announced plans for a prototype of a business payment system that will use central bank digital currency (CBDC). The project will build on the bank’s previous CBDC work, Project Inthanon.

One of Thailand’s highest profile blockchain projects is the Siam Cement procurement solution, developed by the company’s innovation arm, Digital Ventures Company, in conjunction with Accenture. The latest project aims to integrate B2B payments that leverage CBDC with the blockchain platform. The work will commence in July.

R3’s Corda is the technology used by both Project Inthanon and the Siam Cement blockchain platform, which should make integration a little easier.

Most CBDC platforms have focused on either wholesale CBDC for financial institutions or retail CBDC for everyday use. The Bank of Thailand’s route hence is a novel departure, that makes sense because it provides a CBDC for enterprise blockchain use without limiting the participants to banks.

In January, Project Inthanon completed its latest iteration through a joint CBDC project with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). This enabled direct bank to bank payments without the need to use correspondent banks. It involved two commercial banks in Hong Kong and eight in Thailand.

The report issued in January highlighted the significant costs involved in Nostro-vostro liquidity – maintaining bank accounts with numerous other banks around the world.

The Bank of Thailand said it plans to advance the project in conjunction with the HKMA and further details will be announced later.