Central bankers have been talking about issuing their own digital coins ever since they first saw the appeal that bitcoin holds for many people. However, the latest indications point to it being a very long time until we will see national crypto assets coming from any stable economies.
Don’t Hold Your Breath for a Digital Baht
The governor of the Bank of Thailand, Veerathai Santiprabhob, has revealed that a switch to digital currency will not happen in the country within the next three to five years, according to local media reports. The central banker said that the use of digital currency is complicated and people in developing countries need to be well prepared for it beforehand. He also argued that the technology needs to become more efficient first.
For these reasons, Thailand’s central bank has not yet introduced a national cryptocurrency to the public, and only plans to test digital currency for payment settlements between financial institutions. Its pilot intrabanks system will likely reach full implementation during the first quarter of next year, according to the Bank of Thailand governor.
A Mixed Message From Global Bankers
The news out of Thailand follows what seems to be a recent cooling trend toward national cryptos. Last week, Alim Guliyev — chairman of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan — told the media in Baku that his institution would not issue its own cryptocurrency due to the risks involved. And earlier this month, a Bank of Israel team recommended holding off on creating an e-shekel.
The development of central bank-issued cryptocurrencies has also become a focus of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Washington-headquartered organization recently issued a stark warning to the Marshall Islands about its plan for the Sovereign, which has caused a political crisis in the country. But maybe just to further obfuscate the matter, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said last week that central bankers actually need to consider issuing their own digital instruments to improve financial inclusion, consumer protection, privacy and fraud prevention.
Are you looking forward to national cryptos? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.