Earlier this week, Omise, the venture capital-backed startup behind the Ethereum-based technology OmiseGo, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and the Central Bank of Thailand came together to discuss the future of the Thai economy and its finance sector.
Launched in 2013, Omise have strived to produce an efficient and secure infrastructure for payment processing using blockchain technology and over the past four years have expanded across Asia, securing investment from the continent’s leading investment firms. The company is supported by well-respected industry experts including Joseph Poon, co-author of bitcoin’s lightning network paper and Ethereum co-founders, Gavin Wood and Vitalik Buterin. The company aims to provide the necessary infrastructure for individuals and organizations to utilize the Ethereum blockchain to facilitate financial activities, as the Omise team explains:
“Through the OmiseGO network connected to the Ethereum mainnet, anyone will be able to conduct financial transactions such as payments, remittances, payroll deposit, B2B commerce, supply-chain finance, loyalty programs, asset management and trading, and other on-demand services, in a completely decentralized and inexpensive way.”
During the meeting, executives and representatives of the Bank of Thailand discussed the potential of integrating Ethereum and blockchain-based services provided by firms like Omise to further enhance the country’s existing banking systems and financial platforms.
The process of decentralizing infrastructures and data-reliant systems can become increasingly complex without the implementation of blockchain technology. Through Ethereum, the Bank of Thailand and its partner banks can easily test the applicability of blockchain technology in processing financial activities that traditionally require significant manual labor and verification.
Recently, Kasikornbank, the largest commercial bank in the country, revealed that it has partnered with IBM to integrate the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain into its existing systems to process letters of guarantees issued by the bank.
“Blockchain technology is applied to create highly secure networks of document filing and retrieval. As Thailand’s largest issuer of Letters of Guarantee, KBank is working with IBM to implement this innovative technology to further define and articulate our leadership in this market,” said Pipit Aneaknithi, the president of KBank.
Parnsiree Amatayakul, IBM Thailand managing director, further emphasized the role of blockchain technology in the growing economy and finance sector of Thailand. He also noted the necessity of a blockchain technology which will offer transparency, security and decentralized systems to banks and their clients in the country.
“As IBM continues to support KBank’s important initiatives in Blockchain, the value this technology can bring to the bank and its clients is becoming increasingly clear and can redefine the way businesses in the region operate and grow,” said Amatayakul.
With KBank testing the Fabric blockchain at commercial scale, the Bank of Thailand has started to take a more innovative approach towards improving the country’s financial services and it has become evident that the government believes the integration and testing of Ethereum’s applicability in its financial sector is an important step towards overhauling some of its inefficient legacy systems.
Many governments in Asia including China, South Korea, and Japan have revealed their plans to actively test Ethereum’s applicability in improving existing government infrastructures. For example, China is working on ways to utilize the Ethereum network to create a digitized version of its national currency. The adoption of Ethereum by the Thai central bank will likely trigger an increase in demand for Ethereum in Asia-Pacific.