According to two individuals familiar with the matter, the creators of India's CBDC-R (central bank digital currency for retail) are targeting a user base of one million individuals for the digital version of the Indian rupee. They have prioritised addressing the issue of developing an offline version of the currency.
Even though the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) officials declared in March that their goal was to have 500K users by July, they are secretly trying to increase that number to one million.
According to one source, achieving the above milestone should be effortless because India has the largest population in the world. They anticipate hitting the one million user target within three months.
India's central bank, the RBI, is conducting trials for both retail and wholesale CBDC. The retail CBDC pilot is underway in at least 15 cities and has garnered the participation of over 13 banks. The retail CBDC trial began on December 1, 2022, and within four months, over 100,000 customers have already taken part in the trial.
During a media conference on Thursday, Shaktikanta Das, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, revealed that India's digital rupee generated significant interest at a recent G-20 meeting hosted by India in Bengaluru. He disclosed that an eminent figure from the international financial sector even praised the design of India's central bank digital currency to the extent that the only aspect he missed was the smell of new currency.
In 2023, the RBI launched a Hackathon aimed at discovering solutions to the difficulties surrounding retail CBDC such as enhancing scalability, elevating transactions per second, and creating ways for offline transactions.
In emerging economies like India, a digital currency system that can support offline transactions is viewed as a means to enhance financial inclusion.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash