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Thailand and Hong Kong Collaborate to Launch their Digital Currency in Q1 2020

The central banks of Hong Kong and Thailand have been researching digital currency use cases and are planning to release their joint research report by the first quarter of 2020.

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The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced the news at a forum on Wednesday, as reported by local news outlet EJ Insight. The HKMA and the Bank of Thailand (BoT) collaborated in May of this year for studying the benefits and risks of launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The HKMA and the BoT have also been separately researching a wholesale CBDC via their projects LionRock and Inthanon, respectively. While together, the two central banks have been specifically researching on how to facilitate payment-versus-payment (PvP) settlement among banks in Hong Kong and Thailand using a wholesale CBDC.

The HKMA has also collaborated with the digital currency research institute of the People’s Bank of China for some projects, per the EJ Insight report.

Edmond Lau, a senior executive director at the HKMA, said that the central bank is focused on the institutional side of digital currency and does not see a need to issue it to retail users. In other words, the HKMA is planning to use digital currency for domestic interbank payments, corporate payments at the wholesale level, and securities settlement.

The BoT has been working on Inthanon since Aug. 2018, while the HKMA has been working on LionRock since 2017.

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