According to a recent press release, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) is seeking public comment on the issuance and development of a Retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), an easily portable "digital form of money issued by the central bank comparable to physical banknotes," which can be used in online and offline financial transactions. The main objective of the BOT's exploration of Retail CBDC is to provide citizens with broader access to secure financial services. The BOT seeks to pilot Retail CBDC in spring 2022.

Similarly, the Bank of Japan recently announced plans to experiment with CBDC this year "to test the technical feasibility of the core functions and features required for CBDC." Phase 1, Proof of Concept, began this week, with the goal being to "develop a test environment for the CBDC system and conduct experiments on the basic functions that are core to CBDC as a payment instrument such as issuance, distribution, and redemption." Phase 1 is anticipated to last one year, with the goal being to test the functionality of CBDC and document key takeaways.

Sweden, too, announced CBDC-related news this week, with the country's central bank, Sveriges Riksbank, publishing a recent study outlining the results of its digital currency pilot on a network based on R3's Corda blockchain. The report cites, among other things, scalability as a major bottleneck in the development and adoption of the technology. Other issues also emerged from the report, including the need to protect information implicated in e-krona transactions in order to safeguard personal data and comply with bank secrecy laws. The head of Riksbank's e-krona pilot division, Mithra Sundberg, said that Sweden's CBDC may require "a new legal framework" before it can be launched.

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