India Central Bank Eyes Digital Currency Trial Run in 2022

India, cenbank, digital currency, pilot, RBI

The Central Bank of India could pilot a digital currency early in 2022, a change from when the central bank governor thought a soft launch of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) could happen by December, although there never was an official timeline announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

A senior central bank officer speaking at the State Bank of India’s Banking and Economic Conclave shared the information with India’s Business Standard newspaper on Thursday (Nov. 18).

See also: India Begins to Consider a CBDC

“I think somewhere it was said that at least by the first quarter of next year, a pilot could be launched. So we are bullish on that,” said P. Vasudevan, chief general manager at the department of payment and settlement of the RBI.

The RBI is digging into the nuances related to CBDCs, such as distribution and validation mechanisms and potential targets like wholesale/retail, Vasudevan said. “It’s not a simple thing to just say that CBDCs can be a habit from tomorrow on,” he said, adding that the central bank is also seeing if “intermediaries can be bypassed altogether.”

Technology is also being reviewed, with examinations into the pros and cons of going “decentralized or semi-centralized,” Vasudevan said.

Read more: India Jumps on CBDC Bankwagon With Digital Rupee Trials

The government in India might table a bill about crypto regulation when the winter session of parliament takes place Nov. 29 through Dec. 23, according to reports. In the past, the RBI expressed numerous concerns that cryptocurrencies could pose risks to financial stability.

In August, RBI Gov. Shaktikanta Das indicated that the central bank was taking a close look at the security of digital currencies and how using them would affect the monetary system in the country as well as the financial industry as a whole.

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