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India could begin trials for a digital rupee by December, central bank governor says

The Reserve Bank of India may launch its first digital currency trial programs by December, central bank governor Shaktikanta Das told CNBC.

Central banks including those in China, Europe and the U.K. are exploring digital currencies that would be issued by them, either to commercial lenders or to the public directly.

They are called central bank digital currencies, or CBDC — legal tender in digital form, and are essentially the online version of their respective fiat currencies. In India’s case, that would be the digital rupee.

“We are being extremely careful about it because it’s completely a new product, not just for RBI, but globally,” Das told CNBC’s Tanvir Gill in a pre-recorded interview on Thursday.

The RBI is studying various aspects of a digital currency including its security, impact on India’s financial sector as well as how it would affect monetary policy and currency in circulation, according to the governor.


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