Bank of Thailand Collaborates with Payment Providers for Retail CBDC Pilot Project

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Due to problems with service providers, Haru Invest, a South Korean Crypto Yield Platform that advertised double-digit rates on its digital asset savings products, has halted withdrawals and deposits. The company’s Twitter account is still active, however, its Linkedin Page has been removed. A South Korean exchange called Upbit announced that it would restrict Haru Invest’s capacity to withdraw funds from its system. Due to staff working from home, local media reports that Haru Invest’s headquarters in Seoul is vacant. Co-founder of Haru Invest and former CTO Eunkwang Joo claimed that the removal of social media profiles was probably a legal response to an unidentified circumstance. This might be a reaction to the regulator’s actions in South Korea.

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This month, the Bank of Thailand will begin a pilot project for retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) in a regulatory sandbox. The Thai central bank will collaborate on the initiative with three payment providers: Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), Siam Commercial Bank, and Singapore-based payments service provider 2C2P. Up to 2,000 Krungsri employees will work on the project, along with roughly 100 local business owners near the bank’s headquarters. Similar to Krungsri’s pilot, Siam Commercial Bank will involve employees and nearby businesses. The pilot’s initial launch date was set for 2022 when it was first revealed in August. Although the Bank of Thailand didn’t formally announce any plans to establish a CBDC, it did take part in the mBridge cross-border payment initiative and the initiative Inthanon-Lion Rock collaboration with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. The nation eliminated corporate income tax and value-added tax (V.A.T.) for businesses that issue investment tokens in March, but it anticipated that these tokens would produce $3.7 billion in revenue over the next two years.

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