Hong Kong, Thailand to release joint CBDC report by Q1 2020

Hong Kong and Thailand have been conducting research on digital currencies for some time now and plan on releasing their joint report by the first quarter of 2020.

As  CoinGeek reported, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Bank of Thailand announced their partnership in CBDC and blockchain research earlier this year. The two regulators have been studying how a CBDC can be applied in their respective countries, and what benefits could come from the integration. The project has been successful and they plan to reveal their findings by Q1 2020, a report by EJ Insights has revealed.

While they have been working together, the two regulators have also been conducting their own research on CBDCs and how they can ease payments in their respective countries. The HKMA has been working on Project LionRock, a study on the application of a state-backed digital currency in Hong Kong. The regulator has partnered with three commercial banks, the R3 blockchain consortium and the Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Ltd.

The HKMA has also entered into blockchain collaboration with China’s Institute of Digital Currency, a subsidiary of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) dedicated to digital currencies.

It may take quite some time before the CBDC becomes available to the masses, however. During a recent fintech event, Edmond Lau, a senior executive at the HKMA, revealed that the digital currency would target institutional use. The regulator would focus on corporate payments at the wholesale level, domestic interbank payments and debt securities settlement.

The Bank of Thailand on its part has been pursuing Project Inthanon which seeks to develop a proof-of-concept for the use of CBDC for domestic wholesale funds transfer.

CBDCs have taken center stage in recent years as more countries seek to take advantage of blockchain technology to ease payments. These initiatives have especially become urgent since Facebook announced Libra, a stablecoin that some countries fear could destabilize their financial systems. China seems to be the leader in this field, with its central bank reported to have been working on a CBDC for over five years.

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