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Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Indian central bank is planning a phased roll-out of the central bank-issued digital currencies (CBDC), revealed RBI deputy governor T Rabi Sankar. The phased roll-out plan has been discussed keeping the changes required in the nation’s foreign exchange rules and information-technology laws.

“Like other central banks, RBI has also been exploring the pros and cons of the introduction of CBDC for quite some time. RBI is planning on conducting pilots in wholesale and retail segments may be a possibility in the near future. So, some progress has been made. You know we could likely come up with this in the near future,” said Shankar.

The Indian Central Bank like many other Central Banks plans to roll out its own soverign digital currency in near future. The early plans reveal that the CBDC would be focused on merchant payments and retail payments. The government plans to run several pilot projects before the phased roll-out.

The deputy governor also revealed that RBI has made key progress in the early development phase and currently assessing the scope of CBDCs, underlying technology, and validation mechanisms.

Despite CBDC plans, the dilemma around the crypto bill prevails

India is fast growing into a cashless society with a major jump in the number of digital payments over the past couple of years. The Indin Central Bank might have revealed its plans on a soverign national digital currency, but there is still no clarity on the crypto bill. The much-anticipated crypto bill couldn’t find a place in the recent parliamentary session.

The inter-ministerial committee that proposed the CBDC development plans also drafted the crypto bill. The Indian government has changed its stance on crypto from calling for an outright ban to hinting at positive regulations. However, unless the bill makes it to the parliament its quite uncertain to predict the final suggestions and rules of the bill.

China is currently leading the CBDC race as it has already completed the development phase and nearing a widespread launch, Apart from China, the US, the UK, UAE, Russia, South Korea, Japan and several others are also developing their CBDC and China’s launch could push other nations to accelerate their plans further.

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