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First trial of the retail digital rupee (e₹-R): EXPLAINED

Detailed info. about the Electronic Rand and its functions: In a move that would be a quantum leap forward, the Reserve Bank of India, the nation’s governing bank, announced that on December 1, 2022, the retail digital rupee’s (e₹-R) first trial will begin. You may remember that the central bank introduced the first pilot for the wholesale segment of the digital rupee on November 1.

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The Central Bank Digital Currency Retail (e₹-R) Pilot will be made available to a limited number of clients and participating retailers in a closed user group. It is also known as the “digital rupee” because the electronic counterpart of the Indian rupee will be known as the “e3-R.” The RBI would issue eF-R as a digital token that would be accepted as payment.
In the same denominations that it presently issues paper currency notes and coins, the central bank will also issue e-R.

The locations and banks going to issue e- and r: Four institutions, including SBI, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, and IDFC First Bank, will take part in the first retail digital rupee experiment. Later, the pilot will include participation from 4 additional banks: Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, and Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Initial launches of the pilot will take place in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Bhubaneswar. In the following phase, the pilot would also include Ahmedabad, Gangtok, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Kochi, Lucknow, Patna, and Shimla. In a press statement, the RBI also stated that it might later decide to broaden the pilot’s scope to include more banks, users, and locations as well.

The generation of digital rupees functions through a digital wallet provided by partner banks, A user will be able to complete a transaction using e3-R. Such digital wallets would need to be installed as applications or other similar platforms on mobile phones or other devices and then will be able to receive digital rupees. Like actual currency, banks will print and distribute digital rupees.

The RBI will allow both person-to-person and person-to-merchant e-R transactions. But, like actual money, er-R won’t accrue interest. Real-time conversion to other forms of money, such as bank deposits and other options, will be flexible with e3-R.

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