India is moving forward with developing its digital rupee and plans to deploy its first pilot test in a year. The country feels that taking a gradual and careful approach is important because it will help the people accept the central bank digital currency (CBDC) while allowing the central bank to make any necessary upgrades or changes on time.

An official from the Reserve Bank of India announced plans to launch the first pilot in the next fiscal year while speaking at a recent event. Even while its neighbor China leads the global race with its digital yuan, P. Vasudevan, the chief general manager of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Department of Payment and Settlement, confirmed the RBI’s commitment to developing a CBDC.

The new deadline is more than a year later than the old one, set for next month. Several local stories suggested that India could debut its digital rupee in December, while the Reserve Bank of India never confirmed the date.

According to the RBI official, rushing to introduce the CBDC could be disastrous for India, the world’s seventh-largest economy.

Another question the RBI is still debating is whether the CBDC is better suited for wholesale, retail, or both. If it does issue the CBDC for wholesale usage, it will be following in the footsteps of another Asian neighbor, the Philippines. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) recently announced that it is developing a digital peso for wholesale usage only.

There is also debate about whether the digital rupee should be deployed on a public or private blockchain in India.


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