Category Archives: Bangkok

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Affluent Bangkok Community Uses Blockchain to Exchange Energy

Residents of an affluent Bangkok neighborhood have been trialing a blockchain platform that allows them to exchange renewably sourced electricity with one another.

The firms involved with the project claim that it is one of the world’s biggest blockchain platforms providing users with peer-to-peer renewable energy services; the total generating capacity of the platform totals 635 KW. It operates within the Bangkok city energy grid with right now just a mall, school, dental hospital and an apartment complex taking part but commercial operations are planned to start next month.

David Martin is the managing director of Australian firm and partner of the project, Power Ledger. Speaking to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Martin said that by enabling the community in Sukhumvit to trade and meet their own energy needs, the outcome will be cheaper bills for buyers, better selling prices and arguably most importantly, a reduced carbon footprint.

Consumers are incentivized to only use electricity that is necessary as they can sell unused supplies instead. The costs of switching to renewable energy through this process are also offset by users selling what they don’t need. If there is an energy surplus from all four locations currently taking part, it will be sold to local suppliers.

Gloyta Nathalang, a spokeswoman for Thai renewable energy firm BCPG that handled the installation for the project said that the future scope for renewables is endless: “There are opportunities everywhere – not just in cities, but also in islands and remote areas where electricity supply is a challenge.”

The World Energy Council has predicted that decentralized energy supply solutions such as this will expand to take over a quarter of the market in 2025 from just a 5% stake that it holds right now. The Bangkok Metropolitan Electricity Authority agrees with this, itself predicting that peer-to-peer energy trading will be mass-adopted in the long term.

Thailand aims to have 30% of total energy consumption renewably sourced by 2036, encouraged by the country’s energy ministry that is currently pushing for a reduction of fossil fuel use and new legislation to permit energy trading.

 

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Thai Movie Theater Chain to Take Digital Currency as Government Opens for Crypto Business

Thailand’s largest movie theater chain has given the green light to its clients for paying for their moviegoing with cryptocurrency according to Bitcoin.com.

Major Cineplex has reported that it plans to integrate cryptocurrency into its current payments system in partnership with Swiss payment company Rapidzpay.

There are currently 143 theaters in the Thai chain throughout the country, the largest being the Paragon Cineplex in capital Bangkok. The company also screens in Cambodia and Laos with plans to increase its total screens in the South East Asia region from 678 to 1,000, according to Forbes.

The massive ParagoCineplex, with 16 screens and 5000 seats, is in the center of a major upmarket shopping hub surrounded by restaurants, an art gallery, a concert hall and numerous retailers. Merchants will be able to use the Rapidz point of sale system which will accept both cryptocurrency and fiat payments. The currencies available for payment have not been announced although the current Rapidzpay app accepts BTC, BCH, and LTC.

The signing of the deal at the Paragon Cineplex was clearly not by chance due to its location within a major retail and service hub. Chanya Tamrongweenichai, the director of marketing at the group commented that:

“Rapidzpay will expand to our other businesses and lead the change for Thailand’s financial ecosystem to be cashless… You’ll be able to buy any services and products from us, such as movie tickets, popcorn and other different products with cryptocurrency.”

The Swiss payment firm has said that it has targeted a million Thai users in its first year in the country hoping that both established crypto users and newcomers to cryptocurrency will realize how convenient this method of payment is.

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently proactive in allowing to cryptocurrencies to be used as a form of payment for goods and services in the country. Currently, the following seven cryptocurrencies are earmarked for official recognition for trading purposes: BTC, ETH, BCH, ETC, LTC, XRP, and XLM.

The SEC’s secretary-general, Rapee Sucharitakul, reflected the nation’s new flexible approach to digital currency when he stated this week:

“…the SEC is (now) open for application approval for operating a digital asset business, as the Finance Ministry’s announcement on digital asset licenses has come into force.”

 

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