Srettha Thavisin, a former real estate magnate who is now running for office, vows to use “digital cash” as a kind of economic stimulation should his party, Pheu Thai, win the next election. If his party wins the May general election and forms the government, the Thai prime minister candidate is promising each citizen 10,000 Thai Baht (which is about $300) in digital currency.
Reflecting on the situation of the country Thavisin stated, “Our country has been economically bruised over the last eight years, with less income and more expenses for the people.” The candidate claims that the proposal will give some financial relief to Thai nationals, whose households are burdened by some of the highest levels of debt in the region.
He also criticised the current government by claiming that, “the current government has been feeding IV drips with small money handouts. That’s not the right way and doesn’t stimulate the appropriate and right economic growth.”
While some local stakeholders see the action as a “marketing gimmick,” others argue that it is the most effective approach to deliver economic stimulus. The airdrop idea would have “major implications” for the whole country’s financial system, according to Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, a minister in the prime minister’s office.
However, this is not the first time in Asia that crypto is involved in an election. Yoon Suk-Yeol, a candidate for the Conservative Party, and now President of South Korea, won the election in March 2022 by less than 1%, making it one of the closest in the nation’s history. Yoon Suk-Yeol’s list of legislative ideas included deregulating cryptocurrency.
Thai Baht stablecoins were ruled unlawful by the Bank of Thailand, which serves as the country’s central bank back in 2021. The reason for the denomination as the report in 2021 claimed was due to THT in Terra platform which fragmented Thai Baht.
According to the latest polls, the vote would be close, with Pheu Thai garnering roughly 46% of the vote. Thus, to gain vote and the support of the public, Thai parties are moving with the trends of the world to promise development. Such promises like that of Thevisin can be considered as an indication of how the Thai financial system might move in the future towards a crypto-based economy.