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Digital Currencies are “Inevitable”

An expert has predicted that digital currencies will definitely become the new norm because buoyed by 5G technologies they promise greater convenience, higher efficiency and lower cost.

“Many countries have already launched digital currencies,” said Jirayut Srupsrisopa, group CEO of Bitkub Capital Group Holdings. He warned that if Thailand was slow on the digital-currency front, Thais might become too familiar with digital yuan or Libra of other nations instead.

At present, the Bank of Thailand has been in the process of developing prototype payment system for businesses using the Central Bank Digital Currency.

Benefits of Digital Money

According to Jirayut, it took a firm in China just three seconds to approve loans for 100 million people. The process did not rely on human staff, but big data, data storage system and artificial intelligence. The results are impressive not just in regards to the speed in which the approval process was completed, but also in regards to the low default rate. Non-performing loan rate is at just 1.7 per cent.

“Technologies including digital currency enable such achievement,” Jirayut said.
He pointed out that had Thailand had a digital currency in normal circulation, the government would have been able to give Bt5,000 financial help per month over a three-month period to affected people during COVID-19 crisis in a much faster and more efficient manner.

Jirayut went on that with digital currency and related technologies, it would have been easier for Thai SMEs to get much-needed soft loans amid the outbreak of the fatal communicable disease too.

“Digital money also means a much lower cost. There is no need to destroy old banknotes and produce new ones,” he said.

He added that money laundering would reduce considerably when digital currencies became a new norm, because it would be so easy to trace financial routes.

Thailand’s Move towards Digital Currency

Jirayut reckoned that the Bank of Thailand had ranked among the top 10 central banks that were very active in digital-currency development. To date, the development has already gone through several successful phases.

In his view, Thailand should start its digital currency soon as about 80 per cent of Thais have already had access to high-speed internet. On average, each Thai owns 1.4 mobile phones. Thais, moreover, are active social-media users.

“But if you pay close attention, you will notice that Thais have mostly used foreign apps. The only Thai apps common among Thais are banking apps,” Jirayut said.

He explained that although Thai banking apps had won Thais’ trust, the country could not be complacent at the time even TikTok had a payment system.

“There is a possibility Thais will transfer money via Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp once Libra comes out,” Jirayut said.

He emphasized that the Thai government would no longer be able to use quantitative easing to spur economy, if currencies used by most Thais were foreign.

“If Thais stick to Libra and digital yuan, it will not be possible for Thais to control currency inflow/outflow either. That’s a serious issue,” he warned.



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