India’s Central Bank Reveals 50,000 Users and 5,000 Merchants Now Using Digital Rupee

India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), reported that 50,000 users and 5,000 merchants are currently using it central bank digital currency (CBDC). Rupiah digital transactions are currently being processed by eight banks, with five more banks due to join the pilot soon, RBI Deputy Governor T. Rabi Sankar said.

Digital Rupee now has 50,000 users

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor T. Rabi Sankar said on Wednesday that the central bank’s digital currency pilot has reached its first milestones.

An RBI official revealed that India’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) currently has 50,000 users and is accepted by 5,000 merchants. The retail digital rupee pilot project, which began on December 1 last year, is taking place in five Indian cities, but the central bank plans to gradually add nine more cities. So far, eight banks have processed about 770,000 digital rupee transactions. RBI plans to add five more banks to the pilot soon.

The central bank stressed that the Reserve Bank of India intends to move cautiously through the digital rupee initiative to prevent actions without a full understanding of their potential impact.

“We have goals in terms of users, in terms of sellers. We will go slowly,” he stressed, adding:

We want the process to happen, but we want the process to happen gradually and slowly. We are not in a hurry to do something so quickly.

Last week, India’s largest retailer, Reliance Retail, announced that it plans to accept payments in digital rupees. The retail chain is partnering with ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and fintech Innoviti Technologies to add central bank digital currency support to its line of Freshpik gourmet stores across the country.

According to the Atlantic Council’s CBDC tracker, 114 countries representing over 95% of global GDP are currently exploring central bank digital currency.

RBI remains skeptical about cryptocurrencies

Meanwhile, India’s central bank continues to recommend a total ban on cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ether. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das warned that cryptocurrencies pose a risk to the country’s financial system and will cause the next financial crisis if they are not banned.

What’s more, the RBI governor said last month that “cryptocurrency has no underlying value,” warning that “it would undermine the credibility of the RBI and dollarize the economy.” Other RBI officials also warned that the cryptocurrency could lead to the dollarization of part of India’s economy, “which would be contrary to the country’s sovereign interests.”

What do you think about the progress of the pilot digital rupee? Let us know in the comments below.

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