Blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) is enjoying worldwide attention. Just last year, more countries and their respective central banks have gotten involved with DLT. Private firms were also in on the trend with many of them showing enthusiasm by building consortiums.
The rise of blockchain technology was very successful this year. Government, finance, and health sectors benefitted greatly with DLT. This year, it’s Thailand’s turn to enter the blockchain industry.
The Southeast Asian country is currently undergoing Thailand 4.0, an economic model that aims to use technology as a platform to become a high-income economy. As Thailand focuses on becoming a “Smart Thailand”, DLT will, prove to be a big help in achieving their goals.
Blockchain specialists see the nationwide adoption of DLT within two years provided that the government gives its support in the form of legal approval. Financial institutions and banking firms will have competition from DLT as it will allow the people to transact locally and internationally without having to go through them.
According to an expert on the field of blockchain, Bhume Bhumiratana, “The adoption of blockchain technology is expected to be widely seen here by 2018, thanks to its capability of transferring valued assets with trustworthiness, transparency and security.”
While Thailand tries to keep up with the global pressures of utilizing DLT, it’s efforts to adopt it now has put it on top of the Asean community who is generally lagging when it comes to implementation of blockchain technology. The reasoning for this delay, according to Mr Bhume, is the fact that DLT tends to be complicated. However, it being rather cheap and fairly easy to maintain, Mr Bhume believes that its widespread adoption in businesses and government institutions will be easier now that they are ready to tackle it.
A partner at Baker McKenzie Thailand, a law firm, Dhiraphol Suwanprateep, said that the current laws and regulations are not suitable yet for blockchain. He said, “Policymakers need to understand this technology and consider relevant regulations before adopting it.”
As an answer to this, the Electronic Transactions Development Agency is rectifying the Electronic Transaction Act 2001. The amendments made will be able to support the use of DLT in smart contracts, e-automated systems, and other financial uses. Furthermore, private data on distributed ledgers will be tackled in the data privacy law where sharing and security will be taken into account. Mr Dhiraphol commented more on the matter saying, “There are also data residency/sovereignty laws to consider, where certain countries do not allow the transfer of sensitive data outside the country of origin.”