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Thailand Trialling Blockchain-Based Travel Visas

Thailand Blockchain Based Travel Visas

Blockchain is a technology that is constantly making headlines across the globe. In Thailand, distributed ledgers will play a major role in its Electronic Visa on Arrival project. Thailand has been experimenting with these virtual visas for some time now.

The new system will be rolled out very soon. It is expected this Thailand eVOA system will help 5 million visitors from 20 countries enter Thailand with less friction. By utilizing blockchain, the system can speed up and protect tourists and their identities accordingly.

This venture is an ongoing collaboration between Gateway Services and a blockchain-powered marketplace start-up. Thai officials have high hopes for eVOA and expect to focus on visitors from India and China during the initial stage.

Replacing these paper-based systems in the modern age is not an unnecessary luxury either. Travellers will no longer have to bring physical documents such as tickets and ID scans to the entry points in Thailand.

This is one of the few real-world use cases for blockchain technology. Depending on the success of eVOA, it may be rolled out further to accommodate more foreign entries into Thailand.

It is unclear how long the initial testing period will last. The Australian firm hopes to further expand its blockchain-based visa application system across different countries.

Blockchain in Thailand

It is believed that blockchain will achieve mass adoption in the next 3-5 years, but without mass adoption, many of these great projects will die because they will not be generating sufficient revenue. The key to blockchain’s survival is widely adopted use cases, OpenGov Asia reported earlier.

In Thailand, blockchain is being tested as a way to trade solar energy by the state-owned renewable energy firm BCPG.

Massive amounts of energy from rooftop solar is wasted because people have to go to work or leave the home and the energy is not used, one expert noted.

During summertime, an empty school with rooftop solar panels can sell surplus power to other buildings through smart contracts on the blockchain.

With the technology, buildings that generate their own energy can sell excess, unused power either back to the electric grid or to other homes and businesses through a peer-to-peer model.

The system is already being used at Chiang Mai University, where electric buses can both take and give back electricity to the school’s power grid.

Blockchain Across the World

Blockchain technology holds tremendous potential for applications across the globe.

OpenGov Asia reported that Australia’s Monash University recently launched a centre that will bring together world-leading researchers in blockchain technology in order to push the frontiers of research in the rapidly expanding field.

The Monash Blockchain Technology Centre (MBTC) will develop secure foundations for this technology from fintech to supply chain management. In addition, it will demonstrate its usability and practical outcomes.

The centre will also positively impact the community through ground-breaking research involving a variety of industries and societal sectors.

Through the Centre, people can be better educated on how blockchain technology can be used to solve real-world challenges.

The visionary research will bring this closer to realising its true potential. Blockchain is currently being used in areas such as digital health services, supply chain management, and the delivery of energy across smart grids.

OpenGov Asia also reported that the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) – will soon look for start-up firms, which will receive grants from a Singaporean company and the government agency.

Start-up firms involved in blockchain technology are being looked at as the recipients of a PHP15 million grant from the Singaporean blockchain firm.  Additionally, each chosen start-up company will also be receiving up to PHP1 million grants from the Department.

The application of blockchain technology is increasing across the globe. Governments are leading the charge by signing public-private partnerships (PPPs) and utilising the tech in unique ways.

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