It is anticipated that the retail CBDC pilot would soon be expanded to include cities like Ahmedabad, Gangtok, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Kochi, Lucknow, Patna, and Shimla.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) responded to an RTI request made by Inc42 by stating that as of February 3, 2023, the total amount of retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) or retail digital rupee (e-R) in circulation was INR 2.73 Cr.
Central bank issued CBDC worth INR 1.71 Cr to the four participating banks on December 1, 2022, to kick off the retail digital rupee trial. According to the RBI's response to the RTI, it issued INR 1.02 Cr of e-R in phase II and increased the retail pilot from four to eight banks.
In response to the RTI, the central bank also stated that as of February 3, there had been 1,329 total e₹ wholesale transactions. It should be noted that the RBI started its wholesale CBDC pilot program on November 1, one month before the start of its retail CBDC pilot program.
T Ravi Shankar, the deputy governor of the RBI, has stated on the retail digital rupee:
“In retail CBDC, there are more than 50,000 users now and over 5,000 merchants. There are eight banks that are facilitating this. We are planning to add five more banks. Over time, we plan to extend this to all major banks. There are five cities in which it is being done now. We are going to add another nine cities, and we will be increasing that gradually. The total number of transactions was roughly around 7,70,000.”
Eligible consumers may currently access retail CBDC services from SBI, ICICI Bank, IDFC First Bank, YES Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, and HDFC Bank.
This circulation of CBDC will also positively affect crypto regulation in India.
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