Indian Central Bank Studies 'Fiat Cryptocurrency' for Digital Rupee

The executive director of the Reserve Bank of India has confirmed that research into a "digital rupee" is still ongoing.  

AccessTimeIconSep 13, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 9, 2023 at 1:24 p.m. UTC

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country's central bank, has spoken about its ongoing cryptocurrency research, hinting at its role in a future digital alternative to the rupee.

With the Indian government currently trying to move toward a fully digital economy, it has initiated the flagship Digital India initiative and research programs to drive that process forward.

As reported by CoinDesk, a paper from the RBI's research institute, published in January, argued that blockchain tech could provide the necessary basis for the digitization of the rupee.

Now, according to the The Economic Times, RBI executive director Sudarshan Sen has indicated that this work is still in progress, saying at an Indian fintech conference today:

"Right now, we have a group of people who are looking at fiat cryptocurrencies. Something that is an alternative to the Indian rupee, so to speak. We are looking at that closely."

However, the bank is less keen on non-central bank cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, with Sen stating that the RBI is "not comfortable" with such "private" cryptocurrencies.

The RBI has previously issued investor warnings on the risks of cryptocurrencies, and its deputy governor claimed their potential is "being overstated" in a March speech.

Reserve Bank of India image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Rachel-Rose O'Leary

Rachel-Rose O'Leary is a coder and writer at Dark Renaissance Technologies, and former CoinDesk journalist.