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New Thailand Govt Turns to Blockchain and Crypto Wallets for National Airdrop 

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Thailand's new government is using blockchain and crypto wallets to distribute a cash handout of $280 to citizens.
  • The funds will be given through a digital wallet and can be used for six months at local shops near the recipient.
  • The digital currency handout policy will add at least $56B to the economy and contribute to GDP growth in 2024.
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Thailand’s newly appointed prime minister is staying true to his election pledge of a big cash handout for citizens. In a move to promote digital finance, the new government will be using blockchain and crypto wallets to airdrop the cash.

On Sept. 7, the Bangkok Post reported that Thailand’s newly appointed government, Pheu Thai, will be using digital ledger technology for its economic stimulus pledge.

Thailand Blockchain Drive 

Details were thin, but the report stated that the 10,000 Thai baht (around $US280) handout would be on the blockchain.

“The project will be driven by high-security blockchain technology so it is completely traceable.”

It was not disclosed whether the ledger will be an existing solution or a custom-built blockchain by the Thai government.

Recipients of the funds will be given a digital wallet that can be used for six months at all local shops and businesses within four kilometres of their registered address

Moreover, the project is tipped to “reduce disparities in terms of people’s access to digital money,” the report added. Recipients simply download the new national wallet app onto their smartphones to get their payout.

The move is a bid to stimulate local economies and prevent an over-concentration of income in urban areas, the report noted. 

Read more: Crypto vs. Banking: Which Is a Smarter Choice?

The digital currency handout policy will add at least 2 trillion baht (around $56 billion) of money to the economy. It will also contribute to GDP growth of at least 5% in 2024, said Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat.

However, the scheme has been widely criticized by opponents over the source of the money. Some economists say it would cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of baht.

Furthermore, the new coalition government, which took power in August, did not win the recent Thai election. It was appointed by the military-backed senate, which still maintains power in the Kingdom. 

Thailand Central Bank Digital Currency Warm-up 

The use of blockchain technology and digital wallets may be a warm-up for the deployment of Thailand’s CBDC (central bank digital currency).

In June, the Bank of Thailand partnered with three payment service providers for its CBDC pilot.

Thailand is also pushing ahead with a national digital ID system. This may be linked to retail digital wallets when rolled out nationwide.

Critics have noted that state-controlled programmable money will erode privacy and financial freedom

It is not clear how the Thai government will control how users spend their airdrop within the parameters it has stipulated. 

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Martin Young
Martin Young is a seasoned cryptocurrency journalist and editor with over 7 years of experience covering the latest news and trends in the digital asset space. He is passionate about making complex blockchain, fintech, and macroeconomics concepts understandable for mainstream audiences.   Martin has been featured in top finance, technology, and crypto publications including BeInCrypto, CoinTelegraph, NewsBTC, FX Empire, and Asia Times. His articles provide an in-depth analysis of...