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Until 2017 still a cautious crypto nation, Thailand is increasingly opening up to crypto currencies. With its latest media release, the Bank of Thailand has surprised representatives of the financial sector at home and abroad:

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) is launching a project to “increase the technological readiness of the Thai financial sector to introduce new financial technologies in order to optimize operational efficiency”. To put it simply: Thailand is very concretely on the way to its own crypto currency.

The project called Inthanon

In its communication to the media, the Bank of Thailand refers to technological change, which will have a major impact on financial services. The Bank of Thailand describes the creation of an ecosystem conducive to collaborative learning within technology as an important driver for the digital future of Thailand’s financial sector.

This is why the central bank is launching the “Inthanon” project. According to its own statements, this is a “collaborative milestone”, the development of the country’s own digital currency, in cooperation with a technology partner and eight participating commercial banks.

Together with its partners, BOT wants to design and develop a proof-of-concept prototype and thereby test the implications and possible advantages of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). The aim is to increase the efficiency of the Thai financial market.

Part of the design of the future financial market infrastructure

In its communication, the Bank of Thailand states that the results and findings of the “Inthanon” project will contribute to shaping the country’s future financial market infrastructure.

According to the Bank of Thailand, the project is in line with similar projects of other central banks, such as Canada, Hong Kong or Singapore.

Phase 1 already completed in the first quarter of 2019

Phase 1 of the “Inthanon” project is to include “the development and testing of a proof-of-concept prototype for domestic wholesale money transfer”.

The project group around the BOT is presenting an astonishing pace, Phase 1 is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019. Subsequently, the Bank of Thailand will publish a project summary. Based on the results of this first phase, the prototype will be further developed, including cross-border money transfers.

Crypto francs for Switzerland?

A national digital currency is also a topic of discussion in Switzerland, but without concrete plans. Opinions, concrete proposals and contributions to the discussion can be found here:

Who is in favour, why and how the Swiss National Bank thinks about it? Why SIX President Romeo Lacher supports the digital franc. Why the Fintechrockers are in favour of the crypto franc and what advantages a digital currency can bring to Switzerland.

About Thailand

The Kingdom of Thailand is a state in Southeast Asia. It borders Myanmar (formerly: Burma or Burma), Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Andaman Sea (part of the Indian Ocean) and the Gulf of Thailand (part of the Pacific Ocean). The land surface of Thailand reminds in its shape of the head of an elephant. Thailand, which was called Siam until 1939 (and for a short time after World War II until 1949), is the only state in Southeast Asia that has not been colonized.

For centuries, Thailand’s economy was agrarian and essentially based on rice cultivation. Thailand, along with the United States, is still one of the world’s largest rice exporters. Thailand’s economy is market economy-liberal and characterized by a strong role of foreign trade. The metropolis of Bangkok is the economic centre of the country.