Reserve Bank of India Releases Concept Note on Central Bank Digital Currency

The Reserve Bank of India has on 7th October 2022 released a Concept Note on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) for India. The purpose behind the issue of this Concept Note is to create awareness about CBDCs in general and the planned features of the Digital Rupee (e₹), in particular. It explains the objectives, choices, benefits, and risks of issuing a CBDC in India. The
Note also seeks to explain Reserve Bank’s approach towards introduction of the CBDC.

The Concept Note also discusses key considerations such as technology and design choices, possible uses of Digital Rupee, issuance mechanisms, etc. It examines the implications of introduction of CBDC on the banking system, monetary policy, financial stability, and analyses privacy issues. The Reserve Bank will soon commence pilot launches of e₹ for specific use cases. As the extent and scope of such pilot launches expand, RBI will continue to communicate about the specific features and benefits of e₹, from time to time.

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is a digital form of currency notes issued by a central bank. While most central banks across the globe are exploring the issuance of CBDC, the key motivations for its issuance are specific to each country’s unique requirements.

This Concept Note explains the objectives, choices, benefits and risks of issuing a CBDC in India, referred to as e₹ (digital Rupee). The e₹ 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. It also has all the transactional benefits of other forms of digital money.

The purpose behind the issue of this Concept Note is to create awareness about CBDCs in general and the planned features of the digital Rupee, in particular. The Note also seeks to explain Reserve Bank’s approach towards introduction of the digital Rupee. Reserve Bank’s approach is governed by two basic considerations – to create a digital Rupee that is as close as possible to a paper currency and to manage the process of introducing digital Rupee in a seamless manner.

The Concept Note also discusses key considerations such as technology and design choices, possible uses of digital rupee, issuance mechanisms etc. It examines the implications of introduction of CBDC on the banking system, monetary policy, financial stability, and analyses privacy issues.

The Reserve Bank will soon commence limited pilot launches of e₹ for specific use cases. It is expected that this note would facilitate a deeper appreciation and understanding of digital Rupee and help members of public prepare for its use.

The full document can be read here on the RBI website

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