The Bank of Thailand (BOT), country's central bank has announced that it is working on a project 'Inthanon' that will design and develop a proof-of-concept prototype for wholesale funds transfer by issuing a wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (Wholesale CBDC). The prototype will be built on Corda, a distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform developed by R3.  R3 is an enterprise blockchain software firm and its Corda platform records, manages, executes institutions’ financial agreements in synchrony with their peers, creating a world of frictionless commerce.

The project Inthanon has been launched to explore the implications and the potential benefits of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to enhance the efficiency of the Thai financial market infrastructure. Key payment functionalities such as liquidity-saving mechanism and risk management will also be developed and tested during the phase-1 of this project.

The BOT is partnering with eight banks for the project -- Bangkok Bank Public Company, Krung Thai Bank Public Company, Bank of Ayudhya Public Company, Kasikornbank Public Company, Siam Commercial Bank Public Company, Thanachart Bank Public Company, Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) Public Company, and The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC).

The BOT says that the project Inthanon is in line with similar projects embarked upon by other central banks such as the Bank of Canada, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.  In addition to the project Inthanon, the BOT is conducting a DLT proof of concept for scripless government savings bond sale to improve operational efficiency.  

The Phase 1 of Project Inthanon is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2019. Based on the results from Phase 1, the banks aim to further develop the capabilities of the prototype for broader functions including third party funds transfer and cross-border funds transfer.