Having completed wholesale CBDC projects, and proof-of-concept retail CBDC testing with corporates, Thailand’s central bank moves to launch a pilot including real-life application of a retail CBDC.

In a press release on Friday, the nation’s central bank Bank of Thailand reconfirms that it sees central bank digital currency (CBDC) “as a novel financial infrastructure, with the potential to increase opportunities for businesses and the general public to have more convenient and greater access to diverse financial services with lower costs”.

“In addition to previous Wholesale CBDC projects  and Proof-of-Concept Retail CBDC testing with corporates, the BOT deems it necessary to extend the scope of Retail CBDC development to a Pilot phase in which real-life application of Retail CBDC will be conducted in cooperation with the private sector within a limited scale,” it adds.

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The efforts of the pilot project will be split on a “foundation track” to assess the system’s efficiency and safety, and an “innovation track” … “to focus on programmability which will facilitate the development of innovative use cases for CBDC, resulting in new financial services for a wide range of customers”. Signup for a hackathon is open until 5 September.