The Reserve bank of India (RBI) is set to pilot digital currency.
“E-rupee or digital rupee will provide an additional option to the currently available forms of money. It is substantially not different from banknotes, but being digital it is likely to be easier, faster, and cheaper,” said the central bank’s Oct. 7 concept note (pdf).
The RBI has been working in a phased manner towards a digital currency’s launch, although there is no deadline.
“Currently, we are at the forefront of a watershed movement in the evolution of currency that will decisively change the very nature of money and its functions,” it said.
The e-rupee will be released in two forms: wholesale for interbank settlements and retail for the public. Although issued by RBI, commercial banks can distribute digital currency further.
One has to hold it in an e-wallet provided by a bank or any registered service provider, the RBI note said.
Unlike cryptocurrencies, which are private in nature, RBI’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) will be issued and controlled by the central bank itself.