Hong Kong and Bank of Thailand reach deal for blockchain research

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) have now entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) so that both regulatory authorities can work to “promote financial innovation”, according to an announcement.

The MoU allows both organizations to collaborate on “referral of innovative businesses, information and experience sharing, and joint innovation projects.” Both the HKMA and BOT have conducted research on central bank digital currencies, so collaborating on creating a CBDC might be a possibility.

The HKMA has previously explored the concept of a central bank digital currency in “Project Lionrock”, while the BOT researched the possibility through its own “Project Inthanon”. The MoU was signed by the chief executive of HKMA, Norman Chan, and the governor of BOT, Veerathai Santiprabhob, in Basel. Since both have conducted research, the new MoU will allow them to share their research for better future results.

The HKMA has been interested in blockchain for some time, as it already launched a blockchain-based trading platform in late 2018 called “eTradeConnect”. The platform was developed by twelve major banks in China, and has the distinction of being the first large-scale multi-bank blockchain project in Hong Kong.

Mr. Chan praised the collaboration, without offering any details as to exactly what “financial innovation” the organizations might promote. He stated:

The signing of this MoU not only demonstrates our mutual interests in developing collaborative fintech initiatives, but also underlines our ongoing efforts in cross-border collaboration between central banks in promoting innovation and enhancing experience sharing. The HKMA looks forward to working together with BOT and seeing the positive outcome from our joint effort.”

Mr. Santiprabhob added:

“I believe there is huge potential to enhance quality of financial services by leveraging on technological advancement, and it is our responsibilities as regulators to create an ecosystem that is conducive to innovations. The BOT looks forward to working closely with the HKMA in turning great ideas into innovative practical solutions that will ultimately improve people’s lives.”

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