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The Bank of Thailand revealed on Tuesday its initial roadmap to create a central bank digital currency, a venture labled ‘Project Inthanon.’ The move shows the country’s increasing interest in blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. Adding the Bank of Thailand to the growing list of banks exploring the blockchain technology like those of Canada, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

The project was first announced in June by Veerathai Santiprabhob, governor of the Bank of Thailand (BoT) during a financial summit in Singapore. The governor touted the project as an innovative approach towards interbank settlements, increased operational efficiencies, and preparation by the country’s financial sector for a decentralized future.

BoT featuring R3

The central Bank of Thailand is not alone in this project. They have chosen to use the enterprise-oriented distributed ledger technology R3’s Corda platform to create and issue the central bank digital currency (CBDC) tokens in the first phase. The prototype will come with a proof of concept system and would fast-track interbank funds transfer in the local economy using these tokens.

Other functionalities to be tested during the first phase would include risk management and liquidity savings. When complete, the project ‘will contribute to the planning of Thailand’s future financial market infrastructure.’ Currently, BoT is collaborating with eight different banks in Thailand to test the first phase, expected to be ready by the end of Q1 2019.

Project Inthanon and beyond

Pending success of Project Inthanon, the central bank would take things to the next level. After the first phase is rolled out and will publish a summary of the project and after which, spell out the details of the next stage of its CBDC tokens.

The BoT said:

“Building upon the findings and outcomes from Phase 1, the project participants aim to further develop the capabilities of the prototype for broader functions including third party funds transfer and cross-border funds transfer”.

Conclusion

The future of bitcoin’s underlying technology is evident as governments and international organizations such as the United Nations use blockchain to find solutions to old age problems. As institutions that would eventually monitor and regulate the use of the technology in financial institutions, central banks’ use of the blockchain means they are ready to embrace the technology and would be better placed to regulate other banks that intend to use distributed ledger technologies.