India’s CBDC aims for 1 million users in 3 months | coindesk JAPAN | Coindesk Japan


The designers of India’s Retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC-R), which aims to expand the use of the digital rupee to 1 million users, are prioritizing solving the challenge of offline payments, he said. Two people familiar with the matter told CoinDesk.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) publicly said in March that it was targeting 500,000 users by July, but privately it is aiming to double that number.

“Given India’s population, the one million milestone will be easily reached,” said one official, adding that the tentative timeline for reaching the million is three months.

RBI operates two CBDC pilots, retail and wholesale. Retail CBDC pilots are live in at least 15 cities, with more than 13 participating banks. It will launch on December 1, 2022, with over 100,000 customers participating over the next four months.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said at a press conference on April 6 that India’s digital rupee was a big deal at the recent Group of 20 (G20) finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Bengaluru, India. He said he was interested. “In fact, a prominent figure in the international financial sector has come to approve of our CBDC design, adding that the only thing missing from this CBDC is the smell of paper money.”

RBI held a hackathon to explore solutions to several challenges surrounding retail CBDC, including improving scalability, increasing transactions per second, and solutions that enable offline trading.

“It’s almost a trilemma: you can hit two goals, but you can’t hit the third,” another person said. “I hope that some kind of technological innovation will soon solve this problem.”

A digital currency system that can facilitate offline transactions is seen as a way to improve financial inclusion in emerging economies like India.

RBI hopes to test and enable offline transactions using wearables, debit and credit cards, Bluetooth technology and smartphones. And another key concern the RBI is trying to address is double spending.

More than 50 proposals have been submitted to the RBI by the March 24 deadline to resolve the issue of offline trading, one official said.

Also, although partnerships with prominent blockchain-related organizations have not begun, RBI is interacting with private companies to explore solutions to improve scalability.

RBI has not announced a timeline for the full-scale rollout of its retail CBDC, but has previously said it would aim for it by the end of the year.

|Translation: coindesk JAPAN
|Editing: Toshihiko Inoue
|Image: Shutterstock
|Original: India Targeting One Million CBDC Users in Three Months, Prioritizing Offline Transfers: Sources

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