CBDC Trials Expanding to 50,000 Users in India, RBI Backs Cautious Approach: Report

The trial for India’s upcoming central bank digital currency (CBDC) has been expanded to over 50,000 testers in the country. Between December 2022 and January, over 770,000 transactions have been facilitated via the digital rupee so far. Around 5,000 selected merchants are part of India’s CBDC tests along with chosen banks. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), that is overseeing the creation of the digital currency, along with use cases, and the deployment of the CBDC, believes in maintaining a cautious approach towards the overall digital assets sector.

Built on the blockchain like other cryptocurrencies, CBDCs are digital representations of fiat currencies that are aimed at processing quick, real-time online payments — they are also free of any service charges. Now that the digital rupee CBDC involves 50,000 testers, the RBI has reportedly decided to halt the process of onboarding new users.

In the coming months, five more banks will join the trials, that will expand the trials nine more cities.

“We want the process to happen, but we want the process to happen gradually and slowly. We are in no hurry to make something happen so quickly,” T Rabi Sankar, Deputy Governor of RBI was quoted as saying in a recent press conference.

India’s financial authorities aim to thoroughly analyse the impacts that the usage of CBDC could have on the country’s existing financial systems. The digital rupee’s testing phase began in December last year.

Earlier this month, V Subramaniam, the managing director at Reliance Retail announced that the firm would begin using India’s digital rupee CBDC across its stores in Mumbai in partnership with ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.

While the RBI sees its CBDC as a transformational tool in the fintech sector, India continues to take a cautious approach towards the wider crypto sector.

The country has teamed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to formulate rules to govern the crypto industry on a global level under its ongoing G20 presidency.

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