The Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are in talks to launch two versions of the central bank digital currency. It is learnt that a wholesale and retail digital rupee could be in the making.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her Union Budget 2022 speech, announced that India will officially launch its central bank-backed digital currency. It is learnt that both Reserve Bank of India and and Union Ministry of Finance are engaged in discussions on bringing in two versions of the proposed digital currency--one will be a wholesale digital rupee and the other will be a retail digital rupee.
The current proposal is to launch one of these versions in the upcoming fiscal and the other version will be launched after assessing the response and tackling the challenges of the first one.
What will be these two different versions?
It is understood that the wholesale digital rupee is aimed at transactions between institutions like bank to bank, etc, whereas the retail digital rupee will be aimed at the use by the common public, via electronic devices such as mobile phones.
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However, when it comes to the timeline of the launch--this is something that the finance ministry has left for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to decide so that a formal proposal can be put forward.
Let us see how soon the government is ready for this proposed launch and which will be the first version that will be hit the market first.