According to reports, a real estate tycoon turned politician, Srettha Thavisin, who is vying to be the next prime minister of Thailand, is promising every citizen 10,000 Thai Baht (approximately $300) in digital currency if his party, Pheu Thai, wins the upcoming general election scheduled for May.
The move is intended to provide a basic-income style economic stimulus package, which Thavisin believes will provide economic relief to the Thai people, who are reportedly grappling with some of the highest household debts in the region.
However, some local stakeholders have criticized the move, calling it a “marketing gimmick,” while others question whether this is the best use of funds, especially in the face of poverty. Furthermore, the Bangkok Post has quoted a minister in the prime minister’s office as saying that the airdrop proposal would have “major implications” for the country’s financial system, while the Bank of Thailand has already declared Thai baht stablecoins to be illegal.
Despite these concerns, recent polls indicate that the election will be a close one, with Pheu Thai reportedly holding approximately 46% of the vote. This move also comes in the wake of a similar instance in South Korea’s 2022 elections, where then-candidate Yoon Suk-Yeol promised to prioritize crypto deregulation as part of his legislative proposals, which reportedly helped him win by a razor-thin margin.