Recent reports tricking in from Thailand points to a fascinating interest in blockchain technology as exemplified by Thailand`s Central Bank which is currently researching on this technology. The central bank is also looking into the benefits that may accrue from a situation where the central bank issues its own digital currency.
Nathan Graham reports that an announcement was made by the governor of the Bank of Thailand (BoT), Veerathai Santiprabhob, on June 5 to the effect that the bank has already commenced researching on the benefits of both Blockchain Technology and the issuance of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
These announcements were made during a keynote address delivered at the Nomura Investment Forum Asia 2018, which was held in Singapore. The governor of BoT also spoke about a project the central bank is currently involved in – the “Project Inthanon”.
This project, he noted is being co-developed with a couple of banks he determined not to mention by name. “Project Inthanon” will give meaning to the central banks consideration of the possibility of having a CBDC; the goal for this project is to create a CBDC with the prospects of improving interbank settlements.
The governor stated: “Our goal is not to immediately bring CBDC into use, but rather to explore its potential and implications for bank office operations. These efforts should pave way for faster and cheaper transaction and validation due to less intermediation process needed compared to the current system.
Thailand appears to be more open to blockchain technology than perhaps most countries. A marketplace for business startups based on blockchain technology was launched in March last year by the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
In August 2017, a number of institutions, namely the Thailand Post and the State Railway of Thailand looked closely into the possibility of modernizing their services with the aid of blockchain technology.
Banks such as the Bank of Ayudhya, IRPC, MUFG and the Standard Charter Bank of Singapore have collaborated to make cross-border transfers possible and easy, aided by a blockchain that is their own creation.
What is Blockchain Technology?
In relative terms, very few people comprehend what blockchain technology really means or represents. However, for technology consultants, IT companies and Wall Street Banks, the blockchain technology buzz is both real and exciting. For the benefit of the former group, this brief segment on blockchain technology has been included.
According to Alan Morrison and Subhankar Sinha “blockchain is… a digital, decentralized ledger that keeps a record of all transactions that take place across a peer-to-peer network. The major innovation is that the technology allows market participants to transfer assets across the Internet without the need for a centralized third party” (http://usblogs.pwc.com).
Cbinsights.com also notes: “Blockchain technology offers a way for untrusted parties to reach agreement (consensus) on a common digital history.” They further state that “a common digital history is important because digital assets and transactions are in theory easily faked and /or duplicated.” Here is where blockchain technology makes available a life line; it resolves a problem without the need for a trusted intermediary.
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