The Reserve Bank of India has indicated that it would begin testing the digital rupee for certain specific purposes soon. The Finance minister added that  “Digital money will use blockchain and other innovations to result in a more effective and affordable approach for handling currency.”

In an effort to create awareness about CBDCs and the characteristics of the e-rupee, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a Concept Note on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) for India. According to the RBI, CBDC is roughly defined as digital legal money authorized by a central bank. It shall be recognized as a means of exchange, legal tender, and a secure store of value, and it will be convertible at par with the national currency. CBDCs might appear as a liability on a central bank’s balance sheet, according to the concept note. 

The concept note also discusses critical issues such as technological and design parameters, prospective Digital Rupee usage, issuance processes, and so on. Privacy issues are discussed along with the impact of CBDC adoption on the banking system, monetary policy, and financial stability. The RBI claimed in its concept note that the digital rupee would provide an alternative to current monetary alternatives. “It’s fundamentally the same as banknotes, but because it’s digital, it’s typically a lot easier, faster, and cheaper.”

CBDC’s structure might be token-based or account-based. Since a token-based CBDC is just a bearer instrument, comparable to banknotes, whoever has the tokens at any one time is assumed to be the owner. An account-based system, on the other hand, would need the recording of balances and transactions for all CBDC holders, as well as the identification of the balances’ owners. In addition, in a token-based CBDC, the individual receiving a token certifies the legitimacy of his token ownership, whereas, in an account-based CBDC, an intermediary verifies the identity of an account holder.

During the presentation of the Union Budget for 2022-23, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the introduction of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The central bank digital currency (CBDC) will provide the digital economy with a considerable boost. As the number and breadth of the trial launches expand, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will continue to explain the precise characteristics and benefits of the digital rupee on a regular basis. In line with the current role of Central Banks, the International Settlements Bank has defined “basic principles” and “important aspects” of a CBDC to guide research and promote public policy objectives.

CBDCs in India, according to Nischal, the creator of the WazirX exchange, would also strive to rebuild public trust in the national currency. It will counteract financial system instability by providing adequate liquidity and secure infrastructure, as well as increasing adoption rates. The Hybrid Model will be suitable for eRupee, with the Central Bank collaborating with private sector banks to provide CBDC to clients. Private banks are more equipped to communicate with consumers, resolve problems, and encourage adoption. India lacks data protection laws, which places it at a disadvantage because privacy is a fundamental right.

The RBI claims that it has regularly emphasized the risks involved with cryptocurrencies. “These digital assets jeopardize India’s financial and macroeconomic stability due to their negative repercussions on the financial system. Furthermore, a growing prevalence of cryptocurrencies has the potential to limit monetary authorities’ power to formulate and regulate monetary policy and the country’s monetary system, which might pose a substantial danger to the country’s financial system’s stability.”

By when will e₹ be launched is still not clear.

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