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Reserve Bank of India Exploring Central Bank Digital Currency

Reserve Bank of India Exploring Central Bank Digital Currency

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank, has joined a host of other nations exploring the development and implementation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) based on blockchain technology.

ICORating reported earlier this week that India has established a task force for analyzing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology with a mandate to “research and possibly draft rules and supervise new emerging technologies in the future.” However, in RBI’s 2017-2018 Annual Report, the central bank revealed that this working group has been constituted to “study and provide guidance on the desirability and feasibility to introduce a central bank digital currency.”

The push to explore a CBDC comes amid a previously icy attitude by the RBI and the Indian government to cryptocurrencies. RBI issued a circular on April 6 preventing banks from offering financial services to cryptocurrency-related firms, which has since been challenged in an Indian court. In the meantime, cryptocurrency exchanges operating in India have circumvented the financial services ban by allowing only crypto-to-crypto trading on their platforms.

An increasing number of central banks around the world are considering CBDCs. Venezuela became the first country to officially roll out a state-backed cryptocurrency, called the Petro, in February 2018. The Marshall Islands have announced plans to launch a state-backed CBDC by the end of 2018.

European governments and central banks, including Thailand, Switzerland, the UK, and Norway have all made plans to test their own CBDC.

31 Aug 2018

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