Thailand’s ambitious plan to distribute digital currency to its citizens, with a total value of approximately $15 billion, has hit a roadblock, as Deputy Minister of Finance Julapun Amornvivat announced a delay in the program’s launch, local media outlets reported.
The initiative aimed to provide 10,000 baht (about $280) to each Thai citizen over the age of 16, with the objective of revitalizing the nation’s economy.
Thailand Government Cites Need for Enhanced Security System
The Thai government has shifted the launch date of the digital currency distribution plan to the first quarter of 2024. The delay was attributed to the need for additional time to develop a secure system, ensuring the protection of both funds and user data.
Earlier, Thailand’s Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, who also has ties with crypto sector, had envisioned this program as a means to boost consumer spending and, in turn, stimulate the economy, with an ambitious target of achieving 5% economic growth in the coming year.
The plan was expected to be financed, in part, through increased tax revenue generated by enhanced economic activity.
Digital Currency Distribution Plan Receives Mixed Feedback
Some experts argue that the government should target the distribution to those in genuine need, proposing the issuance of “e-wallets” to specific groups.
They also suggest the program needs refining to exclude those who are financially self-sufficient.
On the other side of the debate, former Thai senator Rosana Rositrakul has raised concerns about the potential adverse effects of the digital currency distribution on the economy and called for a careful review by Thailand’s National Audit Office.
The delay in the program reflects a growing debate within the country regarding the allocation of funds and the potential risks associated with such a large-scale initiative at a time when Thailand is grappling with public debt and economic challenges.