back to article India’s retail digital currency pilot launches on December 1st

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced its first retail digital Rupee pilot will commence on December 1, 2022. “The pilot will test the robustness of the entire process of digital rupee creation, distribution and retail usage in real time,” said RBI. The pilot works like this: Participating banks distribute the e-rupee …

  1. Oglethorpe Bronze badge

    Use by date

    It's interesting that India, though they haven't raised the possibility as loudly as China are also considering digital currencies with expiry dates:

    It's not a new concept but the technology makes the implementation much easier. This is known as Gesell economics, where accumulation of wealth is divorced from the currency used for everyday transactions.

    Also, note the concept of tokens with spending restrictions. They give the example of agricultural stimulus tokens only being able to purchase agricultural supplies. It's strange to think of a future in which your employer might pay you a salary where your budget for food, energy and discretionary purchases (some of which you may be permitted to put into savings) is already allocated for you.

    1. iron Silver badge

      Re: Use by date

      So rushing headlong into a cross between 1984 and the company store?

  2. steamnut


    Now what could possibly go wrong here? That's easy, lots of things. I will be live for just one day before the fraudsters find a way to take advantage of the system....

  3. ICam


    As more countries look to further adopt digital payment methods, I hope they are going to factor in ease of use for foreigners as well.

    When I was in India, I had Paytm on my phone, but could only get money into it by asking somebody else (an Indian) to transfer money to me if I gave them cash. In *theory* it was possible to walk into one of the Indian banks (I can't remember which one it was now), pay cash and have that deposited into your Paytm account. I tried multiple branches in a number of cities and none of them were able to do it - and that was after having to prove to the staff that it should indeed be possible, by showing them the web page that detailed it, as they rarely seemed aware of it otherwise. Indians can pay money into their Paytm accounts by card, but foreigners can't because of anti money laundering and anti terrorism laws...

    In Argentina, you need either a DNI (national ID) card or as a foreigner a passport in order to use a credit card in a shop (not that it's wise financially). Want to order online from somewhere like Mercado Libre? Forget it - no DNI card, no account.

    In my experience, cash is still king for foreigners in a lot of countries, however you get hold of it.

  4. Alan Mackenzie

    RBI said .... like trust, safety and settlement finality......but what about ....?

    But what about anonymity and freedom from surveillance in general?

    1. sketharaman

      Re: RBI said .... like trust, safety and settlement finality......but what about ....?

      Per article in today's Economic Times, "e-Rupee may offer same anonymity as dealing in cash". Once banks transfer money to e-Rupee wallet, further use of the money will NOT be tracked by the bank's Core Banking System.

  5. Uplink

    Hold up...

    Back up a little there:

    Participating banks distribute the e-rupee (e₹-R), in the same denominations available as notes and coins

    What do you mean by "denominations" when it comes to digital currency? Does that mean that if I go to a shop they may not have enough change to give me because they don't have the requisite digital coins? The idea of "change" itself would arise from my lack of exact digital coinage as well.

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