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India to start retail CBDC trials from December 1

After starting the wholesale digital rupee (e₹-W) pilot on November 1st, 2022, RBI is all set to launch the retail CBDC (e₹-R) pilot on December 1, 2022.

The RBI has identified eight banks for phase-wise participation in this pilot. The first phase will begin with four banks, namely, the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, and IDFC First Bank in four cities across the country. Four more banks, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, and Kotak Mahindra Bank will join this pilot subsequently.

The pilot would initially cover four cities, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Bhubaneswar, and later extend to Ahmedabad, Gangtok, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Kochi, Lucknow, Patna, and Shimla. The scope of the pilot may be expanded gradually to include more banks, users, and locations as needed.

e₹-R will be issued in the same denominations in which paper currency and coins are currently issued, and will be distributed through banks. Users can transact with e₹-R through a digital wallet offered by the participating banks and stored on mobile phones. Transactions can be P2P and P2M. Payments to merchants can be made using QR codes displayed at merchant locations.

Like cash, e₹-R will not earn any interest and can be converted to other forms of money, like bank deposits.

Read more: https://www.livemint.com/news/india/rbi-to-launch-retail-digital-rupee-pilot-on-1-december-11669741691383.html

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