A contender to be the prime minister of Thailand is promising every citizen 10,000 Thai baht (approximately US$300) in digital currency if his party forms a government following a general election scheduled for May.
Thavisin says the measure will provide some economic relief to Thais that are trapped with some of the highest household debt in the region.
“Our country has been economically bruised over the last eight years, with less income and more expenses for the people,” Thavisin is quoted by Bloomberg as saying. “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.”
A Phue Thai spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment via Twitter on what tokens will be used for the airdrop.
In 2021 the Bank of Thailand, the nation’s central bank, declared Thai baht stablecoins to be illegal.
The Bangkok Post quotes Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, a minister in the prime minister's office, as saying that the airdrop proposal would have “major implications” for the entire country’s financial system.
Others quoted by the Bangkok Post question if this would be the best use of funds instead of putting it towards alleviating poverty.
Recent polls show the election is going to be a close one, with Reuters reporting Pheu Thai has approximately 46% of the vote in recent polls.
This isn’t the first election in Asia where crypto has played a prominent role.
In South Korea’s March 2022 election, one of the closest in the country’s history, Conservative Party candidate Yoon Suk-Yeol, now the president, put crypto deregulation on his list of legislative proposals to edge ahead of his opponent and win office by a margin of less than 1%.
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