RBI Announces Launch of first Pilot for Retail Digital Rupee on Dec 1

The RBI on Tuesday announced the release date of the first pilot for retail digital Rupee. The pilot would cover select locations in closed user group (CUG) comprising participating customers and merchants, the national monetary regualtory said in a statement.

As per the announcement, the (e₹-R) will be launched on December 01, 2022. As many as eight banks have been identified for phase-wise participation in this pilot. The first phase will begin with four banks — State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank and IDFC First Bank in four cities across the country. Following which Four more banks — Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank will join this pilot subsequently, a media release issued by the central bank noted.

The pilot as per the statement would begin in four cities including Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar and later extend to Ahmedabad, Gangtok, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Kochi, Lucknow, Patna and Shimla. 

The pilot program aims to test the robutsness of the entire process of digital rupee creation, distribution and retail usage in real time. “The e₹-R would be in the form of a digital token that represents legal tender. It would be issued in the same denominations that paper currency and coins are currently issued,” the central bank said in a release.

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