Welcome to this week's edition of Bangkok Block, your go-to source for the latest news and updates in Thailand's vibrant Web3 scene. In this issue, we'll dive into the exciting pilot testing phase of Thailand's Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the Digital Baht.
Additionally, we'll explore Meta Media Labs' recent completion of its Southeast Asia base in Bangkok, along with other noteworthy events shaping the local Web3 landscape.
Bank of Thailand Pilot Tests CBDC
The Bank of Thailand is partnering with payment providers to pilot-test a retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in a regulatory sandbox this month. The three payment providers are the Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), and Singapore-based payment service provider 2C2P. Ten thousand users, including bank staff and neighboring merchants, are expected to be part of the pilot study that will run from June to August 2023.
Each payment service provider will have its own app that includes a wallet and a QR code scanner. Participants need to install the mobile banking app, add money, and convert it into a digital Baht. As of now, the Bank of Thailand will be testing the digital Baht’s utility for retail payments. In the future, it aims to explore other uses, such as welfare payments.
The launch of the CBDC intends to help modernize Thailand’s payment infrastructure and lower the costs of financial transactions. The pilot study will focus on testing the CBDC’s feasibility and efficiency in the current economic landscape.
Plans by the Bank of Thailand to develop a CBDC date back to 2018. The retail CBDC pilot study was originally scheduled for 2022, but unexpected delays moved the date to the second quarter of 2023.
So far, only 11 countries have already successfully launched a CBDC. Although Thailand's SEC has taken a stance against crypto as a form of payment, Central Bank officials have noted the potential of a CBDC to be the foundation of the financial system of the future.
Meta Media Labs Completes Bangkok Base
Meta Media Labs has just finished building its Southeast Asia base in Bangkok. Meta Media, the first SocialFi and education platform for Web3, is leading the way toward AI-powered social media for Web3 users. The Meta Media ecosystem provides tools and resources for community building, venture capital and incubation, and course aggregation.
With its new base, Meta Media is better equipped to increase the growth of SocialFi in the country.
Fireblocks Event Tackles Web3 Business Struggles
Fireblocks, which recently partnered with Metamask to enhance DeFi access, held another successful meetup last week. Titled “Building a Secure Digital Assets Business in Challenging Times,” the expert panel discussion tackled the struggles of launching a digital asset business.
Over 70 Web3 enthusiasts showed up at the Web3 incubator and co-working space District X for the talks on security, custody, and the future of finance. It was another of many in-person events keeping the local Web3 scene burning bright despite the ongoing crypto winter.
Cosmos Shares Customized Biz Solutions in Meetup
Cosmos BKK and Co. highlighted innovative business applications for Cosmos SDK during last week's meetup at KLOUD by KBank. Cosmonauts came to catch up on the latest updates from SEI and Axelar and share best practices during the open networking session.
June 26: Women in Crypto, the fourteenth event of Crypto Meetup Thailand, will take place at Liberty Thonglor Music & Bar, Bangkok. Come join the networking session and share experiences with fellow female women in the crypto space!
June 26: This Monday at 6:30 p.m., hang out with Web3 builders at Witch's Oyster Tavern, 2nd Floor, Ploenchit for Satoshi Square, Thailand’s oldest-running crypto meetup.
That's all for this week. If you're around, please drop me a line! And reach out if you're in Thailand and have an interesting story or project you'd like to talk about.