CBDC: India’s Digital Rupee Moves Closer to Real-World Adoption
Ajay Kumar Choudhary, an executive director of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has disclosed that the digital rupee, India’s in-house central bank digital currency (CBDC), is currently undergoing offline functionality testing.
The RBI, India’s central bank and regulatory body, launched the wholesale segment pilot for the digital rupee on Nov. 1, 2022.
This pilot saw 50,000 users and 5,000 merchants onboarded for real-world testing, resulting in around $134 million and 800,000 transactions completed via wholesale CBDCs as of Feb. 25.
Choudhary revealed that the RBI is examining the potential for cross-border transactions and linkage with legacy systems in other countries.
He also stated that the CBDC would soon become the medium of exchange, needing all features of physical currency, including anonymity. Choudhary also expressed interest in the private sector and fintechs’ contribution to offline and cross-border CBDC transactions.
Choudhary noted that the CBDC would eventually replace cryptocurrencies. The digital rupee was launched to improve regional financial inclusion and spearhead the digital economy.
In other news, India’s national payment network, the unified payments interface (UPI), has expanded its services to Singapore.
UPI PayNow integration will facilitate sending money across borders quickly, with the service provided by four major Indian banks and Singapore’s DBS Bank and Liquid Group.