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.
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.
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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