PwC: Thai Central Bank a trendsetter in digital currency

“The Central Banks of Thailand and Hong Kong are on the cutting edge when it comes to interbank digital currencies,” says Pricewaterhouse Coopers, which called a joint digital project of the two banks the most mature in the world.

The American financial consultancy made the comments upon the release of its “PwC Global CBDC Index 2021.” The index analyzes central banks in deploying their central bank digital currency (CBDC), including tracking their progress and stance on development.

Central bank digital currencies are used only in transactions between central banks and not by the general public. They are crucial to the smooth, fast and efficient functioning of the global financial system.

The Bank of Thailand and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) both achieved a score of 80 in the PwC index, reflecting the achievements of their Project Inthanon-LionRock.

The project, now in its second phase, has morphed from bilateral cross-border uses to functions involving multiple jurisdictions and currencies that are expanding the financial infrastructure for cross-border payments.

“Project Inthanon-LionRock is by far the most advanced wholesale CBDC project both in terms of the design and overall development,” said Vilaiporn Taweelappontong, Consulting Lead Partner and Financial Services Leader for PwC Thailand.

“In 2019 the two central bank authorities initiated the project to test the application of CBDC to cross-border payments, leading to the development of a software prototype both for cross-border settlements and a range of other uses.”

More than 60 central banks have already dived into interbank digital currency use, according to the PwC report.

“CBDCs can offer less costly transactions and improve the overall efficiency of the country’s entire payment system, especially when using blockchain technology to create a safer, more transparent and modernized monetary ecosystem,” Vilaiporn said.

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