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.  

Sep 13, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:55 a.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

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