RBI Launches First Pilot of Digital Rupee

The Reserve Bank of India commenced the first pilot programme of Digital Rupee (e₹) from November 1, 2022.  At present, the RBI has identified nine banks, including State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, YES Bank, IDFC First Bank and HSBC for participation in the pilot.

As per the concept note published by the RBI, Central Bank Digital Currency is defined as a legal tender which is issued by RBI. The regulator has proposed two versions of the Digital Rupee- general purpose or retail (CBDC-R) and wholesale (CBDC-W).

The CBDC-R can be used by everyone, including private sector, businesses and non-financial consumers and is an electronic version of cash meant for retail transactions. On the other hand, CBDC-W can be used only by select financial institutions, has restricted access and has been specifically designed for settlement of interbank settlements.