RBI’s Digital Currency Pilot Records ₹5.70-Cr Transactions In 4 Months

RBI’s Digital Currency Pilot Records ₹5.70-Cr Transactions In 4 Months

According to reports, the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) retail digital currency pilot programme saw transactions totalling Rs 5.70 crore in the initial four months. According to the RBI’s balance sheet published on January 16, 2023, the E-Rupee issued for Central Bank digital currency in the retail sector was $5.70 crore as of March 31, 2023.

Launched on December 1, 2022, the pilot aims to introduce a digital rupee using blockchain to enhance the digital economy. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed this initiative to streamline currency management during her February 1, 2022, budget speech.

The digital rupee, known as e-rupee retail, operates as a digital token representing legal tender. It initially involved four banks—State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, and IDFC First Bank—in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Bhubaneswar, expanding to include Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and additional cities.

Sharat Chandra, co-founder of the India Blockchain Forum, noted the challenge of persuading users to adopt an alternative digital currency when UPI already dominates the digital payments landscape.

Despite the launch, experts expressed concerns about the retail CBDC’s viability due to the entrenched position of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in digital payments.