Cryptocurrencies are unlikely to be widely adopted by central banks in the near future. That’s according to the Governor of Thailand’s central bank – the Bank of Thailand – Veerathai Santiprabhob (pictured above, right).
A report by the local outlet the Chiang Rai Times indicates that Santiprabhob made the claims on Monday. The report says he was responding to comments made by Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, last week.
Speaking at a conference in Singapore, Lagarde said that central banks should start to consider issuing digital currencies. Central bank-issued cryptocurrencies could, Lagarde claimed, prevent “too much power [falling] into the hands of a small number of outsized private payment providers.”
But according to Santiprabhob, it’s much easier to discuss cryptocurrencies than it is for central banks to actually create one.
The central bank governor noted that Thailand simply wouldn’t be able to launch its own digital currency in the next 3 to 5 years. The reason for this is, as our readers can probably imagine, a mixture of navigating through a complicated process and the inefficiency of existing technology.
Thailand Not Tech Savvy Enough?
On top of this, Santiprabhob claimed that the technological readiness of Thailand’s citizens doesn’t match what is needed to develop a central bank-issued cryptocurrency. Santiprabhob said that this was likely true of all developing nations, noting that even Sweden – a developed country – has struggled to properly implement its digital currency.
Citizens of one country may disagree with Santiprabhob. With hyperinflation sweeping the country, residents of the great socialist paradise of Venezuela have been using cryptocurrencies – most notably Dash – to make payments for some time. Though Dash is not a central bank-issued currency, Venezuela is certainly proof that you don’t need to be a developed country to get your population to start using cryptocurrency – you just need to destroy the economy first.
Despite Santiprabhob’s comments, Thailand has actually been fairly adept at keeping pace with change in the cryptocurrency world. Most notably, the government has been testing payment settlements using blockchain and, in August of this year, introduced cryptocurrency regulation.
(Photo: Bank of Thailand)