Thailand Central Bank Launches Savings Bond on IBM-Backed Blockchain

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In Brief
  • The Bank of Thailand (BOT) claims it has launched the world's first blockchain-based savings bond.

  • The BOT has already issued over $1.5 billion in bonds over the past two weeks.

  • Thailand generally has a more progressive approach to blockchain than some of its neighbors.

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The Bank of Thailand (BOT) announced on Oct 5 that it had launched the world’s first government savings bond using an IBM-developed blockchain.

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The BOT claims that over $1.5 billion in bonds has already been issued using the platform over the past two weeks. Based on IBMs ‘Cloud’ infrastructure, the process now reportedly more than halves the issuance time to just two days.

Thailand Leverages the Speed and Efficiency of Blockchain

Industry participants have long touted the immutability of the blockchain, and the BOT is using this “real-time single source of truth” to reduce its operating costs. With the system, Thai investors can now purchase all their bonds via a single bank.

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Patama Chantaruck, VP for Indochina Expansion and the MD of IBM Thailand, commented on the project:

Bank of Thailand’s success with the government savings bond project is the latest example of how blockchain technology can redefine the way businesses operate by simplifying complex processes resulting in fast, transparent, secured and efficient multiparty collaboration

The speedy processing times are currently only available to institutional investors, but the BOT has plans to extend this to the retail sector.

Paving the Way for SouthEast Asia?

The bond issuance platform was conducted with eight institutions, including the BOT, IBM, the Public Debt Management Office, the Thai Bond Market Association, and others.

It’s been some time since officials announced any headway in the blockchain space. However, the Thai government insists it is leading the charge into a blockchain-based future.

To this end, it claims that the country’s Customs Department became the “second government agency in southeast Asia to use TradeLens.” TradeLens is a blockchain-based supply chain platform used for international shipping activities.

In 2019, officials announced their intention to introduce new anti-money laundering laws, though little has been heard since the onset of coronavirus.

Unlike India, its Oceanic neighbor to the west, Thailand has generally been more progressive in its approach.

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Ryan was BiC's U.S. Time Zone Editor until the end of Feb 2021. He is fascinated with the history and evolution of money and the role that crypto plays in fixing a broken financial system. When not meticulously looking over the charts, he can be found jamming some board games or running the trails in his local nature reserve.

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