The Reserve Bank of India starts CBDC testing.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank and regulatory body responsible for the regulation of the Indian banking system, has announced the launch of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot for a wholesale segment.
According to a brief press release shared on October 31st, the pilot program is set to launch on November 1st.
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The wholesale pilot will be used to test the “settlement of secondary market transactions in government securities.” Moreover, the e₹-W, or wholesale, aims to “make the inter-bank market more efficient” while reducing costs.
In its press release, the Reserve Bank of India noted:
Settlement in central bank money would reduce transaction costs by pre-empting the need for settlement guarantee infrastructure or for collateral to mitigate settlement risk. Going forward, other wholesale transactions, and cross-border payments will be the focus of future pilots, based on the learnings from this pilot.
Nine Indian banks will participate in the pilot. India’s central bank lists the Bank of Baroda, Kotak Mahindra Bank, State Bank of India, Union Bank of India, IDFC First Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Yes Bank, and HSBC as banks participating in the pilot.
On top of that, the Reserve Bank of India expects to launch the first pilot in Digital Rupee – Retail segment (e₹-R) within a month. The CBDC retail pilot will be introduced to the user and merchant groups in a handful of locations around India.
Earlier this month, on October 7th, the Reserve Bank of India shared an in-depth 50-page concept note to introduce central bank digital currency, dubbed the digital rupee. The institution highlighted that CBDC aims to complement current forms of money and provide an additional way to pay for goods and services.
Supported by state-of-the-art payment systems of India that are affordable, accessible, convenient, efficient, safe and secure, the Digital Rupee (e₹) system will further bolster India’s digital economy, make the monetary and payment systems more efficient and contribute to furthering financial inclusion.
In other news, on October 12th, India’s Firozabad district’s police joined forces with Ethereum scaling platform Polygon to launch a police complaint portal.