Globally, the (digital) payment space has seen dramatic innovations in the last decade. Multiple forms of virtual money to independent cryptocurrencies were invented during this period. It could be argued that all this was trigged by the crash of 2008, which challenged our trust in the traditional system of money. In August 2008, the domain bitcoin.org was registered, and later in that year in October, a paper titled, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, was published by Satoshi Nakamoto, which trigged the movement towards the proliferation of cryptocurrencies. In a different part of the world, in 2007, M-Pesa was launched by Vodafone in Kenya, enabling those with no access to the formal banking system to make digital payments using a mobile phone. The next logical step in this progression seems to be a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). This article attempts to understand crucial aspects of CBDC and its relevance for India, with a particular focus on retail CBDC.
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