RBI launches digital rupee pilot project from tomorrow

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today said the first pilot in the digital rupee wholesale segment will begin tomorrow.

According to reports, nine banks such as State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Yes Bank, IDFC First Bank and HSBC — have been identified to participate in the pilot.

RBI’s concept note states that a central bank digital currency is a sovereign currency issued by central banks in accordance with monetary policy. It will appear as a liability on the central bank’s balance sheet.

“The concept note also discusses key considerations such as choice of technology and design, possible use of the digital rupee and issuance mechanisms, among others,” the RBI said in a statement.

According to the concept note, digital currency should be accepted as a means of payment, legal tender and a secure store of value by all citizens, businesses and government agencies.

The digital currency will be freely convertible against money and money of commercial banks. It will be a fungible legal tender for which holders do not need to have a bank account.

“The e-rupee will provide an additional option to the currently available forms of money. In essence, it is no different from banknotes, but since it is digital, it is likely to be easier, faster and cheaper. It also has all the transactional advantages of other forms of digital money,” the RBI statement said.

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