A proposed central bank digital currency (CBDC) from India’s central bank, which could get a test run in 2022, has some concerned about the implications for privacy as national governments begin making concrete moves into the digital currency space.
The “digital rupee” pilot could launch as early as April, but many important details have yet to be put into place. It remains unclear what the government’s plans are for centralizing the technology and using intermediaries, and there is currently no privacy law governing the proposal.
Central bank eyes digital rupee launch within months, but plans still unclear
The idea of a cryptocurrency backed by a central bank is one that has been much discussed by world governments recently, but few have taken real steps in that direction. If the plan for the CBDC pilot program (running from April 2022 to March 2023) stays on track, it would be the world’s most significant program of this nature short perhaps of China’s “cyber yuan” effort.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, seemed to address the privacy concerns about China’s CBDC with its statement on the planned program launch. The bank listed “ease of transactions with anonymity and faster settlement” among the benefits of the planned Indian CBDC. But this relatively short press release was not accompanied by specifics as to exactly how private and anonymous currency holders can expect to be in their transactions.