Wholesale Digital Rupee (e-W) experiment launched by Reserve Bank of India; retail coin to follow soon

The interbank market is anticipated to become more productive thanks to the e-W pilot.
Nine banks in total are taking part in the experiment. Within a month, the Reserve Bank of India intends to introduce the Digital Rupee – Retail sector (e-R).

The Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank, is getting ready to test its first central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the wholesale market. The bank has discussed how it could issue two different forms of CBDC, one for the retail market and the other for the wholesale sector. With a total of nine banks on board, it is already starting. The success of the trial will determine India’s use of the digital rupee. It is expected that the Digital Rupee for retail would launch soon.

According to the official press release, the Digital Rupee – Wholesale segment’s first pilot will start on November 1st, 2022. Settlement of secondary market transactions in government securities is the use case for this experimental project. The press release adds to this by stating that “Settlement in central bank money would minimise transaction costs by avoiding the requirement for settlement guarantee infrastructure or for collateral to offset settlement risk.”

HERE ARE THE BANKS THAT ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE E₹-W PILOT

  1. State Bank of India
  2. Bank of Baroda
  3. Union Bank of India
  4. HDFC Bank
  5. ICICI Bank
  6. Kotak Mahindra Bank
  7. Yes Bank
  8. IDFC First Bank
  9. HSBC

The e₹-W pilot is expected to make the interbank market more efficient by enabling faster and more secure transactions. What’s even more interesting is that the Reserve Bank of India is planning to release the first pilot in Digital Rupee – Retail segment (e₹-R) within a month. However, the pilot will be conducted in select locations amid closed user groups comprising customers and merchants. 

BANKS AROUND THE WORLD ARE EXPLORING WAYS TO IMPLEMENT DIGITAL CURRENCY

Soon, further information about how the pilot will operate will be released. The central bank published a 50-page concept note earlier this month that covered the possibilities, use cases, and functionality of the Digital Rupee. The central bank of India is not the only one looking into CBDCs.

The Australian Central Bank recently launched a CBDC research study with the intention of announcing the pilot next year. The Bank of International Settlements has collaborated on studies with the central banks of Thailand, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates to learn more about CBDCs and how they are used in international trade. During the six-week test project, there were 160 transactions totaling $22 million.

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