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Central Bank in India to Take Phased Approach to Introduction of Digital Currency

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • The Central Bank of India will take a phased approach to launch of digital rupee.
  • The bank wants the asset to meet monetary policy, financial stability, and efficiency standards of currency and payment systems.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the CBDC could launch later this year.
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The Reserve Bank of India will introduce its digital rupee central bank digital currency (CBDC) in a phased manner. The asset will undergo proof of concept and pilot stages before fully launching.

The Reserve Bank of India discussed the plan in its annual report saying that the CBDC needed to be “In line with the objectives of its monetary policy, financial stability and efficient operations of currency and payment systems.”

Calling for the adoption of the digital rupee through a graded approach, the CBDC will go through proof of concept and pilot stages before the official launch. 

The central bank has been examining the risks and advantages of a CBDC, and the Finance Bill of 2022 serves as a legal framework for the asset’s launch. 

“The introduction of CBDC has been announced in the Union Budget 2022-23 and an appropriate amendment to the RBI Act, 1934 has been included in the Finance Bill, 2022. The Finance Bill, 2022 has been enacted, providing a legal framework for the launch of CBDC,” the report reads.

The phased introduction of the CBDC is high on the agenda for 2022-23. India’s central bank first announced that it would work on a CBDC earlier this year. India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has also said that she expects the digital rupee to launch later this year.

Sitharaman said there were many advantages to a CBDC, and India is a tech-forward country when it comes to payments. The country already has a wider user base for digital and app-based payments, much like China. Analysts also believe that introducing a transparent public ledger can reduce the circulation of fake notes, which the RBI considers a problem.

India ramps up regulation

After confirming last year that it would not recognize bitcoin as currency and also reassuring investors that crypto would not be banned, India has ramped up its intention to regulate the market. 

First, it imposed taxes on crypto, which many believe is too high. India’s crypto volumes have plummeted since the introduction of the tax scheme.

India believes that there needs to be cooperation internationally for regulation to truly succeed.

Instead, India’s lawmakers will take their time to draw a regulatory framework for crypto. Full regulation may take years, but the country’s stance on digital assets is slowly beginning to take shape after years of vacillation has left investors in confusion.

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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has helped DeFi platforms like Balancer and Sidus Heroes — a web3 metaverse — as well as CEXs like Bitso (Mexico's biggest) and Overbit to reach new heights with his...
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