eRupee hits record Rs. RBI says transactions worth Rs 5.7 crore seen in first four months of retail trial: Report

eRupee, the Indian central bank digital currency (CBDC), was reportedly used to process rupee transactions. 5.70 crore in the first four months after entering the retail trial phase. The information was disclosed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in response to an RTI query initiated by Moneycontrol. RBI begins eRupee retail trial at select locations across the country on December 1, 2022.

“As per the data published in the balance sheet of the Reserve Bank of India as on March 31, 2023, e-Rupees worth Rs 5.70 crore were issued for CBDC (retail),” the central bank said. Allegedly Said while responding to Moneycontrol’s RTI query last month.

A CBDC is an electronic, blockchain-based form of a sovereign currency. The use of a CBDC instead of cash will not only reduce reliance on paper notes, but will also ensure that all transactions are recorded on a distributed ledger, thereby protecting the information from tampering.

A total of thirteen banks, including Canara Bank and State Bank of India (SBI), are assisting the RBI in conducting these tests. These banks also offered benefits and rewards to people experimenting with eRupee, helping the RBI meet its target of one million daily transactions by the end of 2023.

In the coming months, RBI plans to load more features on eRupee, with many Indian banks now letting people use it to make payments through it.

Last week, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das told the media that the eRupee CBDC is to be loaded with features supporting offline payments for rural areas and programmability feature for corporate use.

Industry stakeholders from India’s Web3 sector consider the situation on social networking platforms. Nischal Shetty, CEO of WazirX and co-founder of recently launched crypto futures exchange Pi42, shared his excitement over RBI’s CBDC plans in his post on X Friday.

“This is a great step to further increase CBDC adoption and bring new use cases to end users,” Shetty said. “If there is a way to connect this CBDC to a decentralized blockchain then we could see INR integrated into DeFi. This will help the Indian Rupee to strengthen which will be positive for India.” Members of the Web3 community also took to X to comment on India’s CBDC plans.

In July last year, a survey conducted by the CFA Institute (Chartered Financial Analysts) said that the Asia-Pacific region has shown greater receptivity to CBDCs – especially among younger respondents.

“Financial inclusion and financial stability are two of the key drivers driving interest in CBDCs across the Asia-Pacific region. Additionally, the rapid growth and sudden decline of private cryptocurrencies has increased interest in CBDCs,” the report said.

Along with India, other countries that are working around their respective CBDCs include the UK, China, Japan, and South Korea.

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