Indian Central Bank May Pilot Test CBDC in 2022: Report

A digital currency is an offshoot of a legal tender issued by the central bank with potential wide use by households and businesses.

AccessTimeIconNov 18, 2021 at 6:28 a.m. UTC
Updated Nov 18, 2021 at 3:37 p.m. UTC

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is examining the feasibility of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and may launch a pilot project in the fiscal year April 2022 to March 2023, a senior RBI official said, according to a local media report.

  • “I think somewhere it was said that at least by the first quarter of next year a pilot could be launched. We are bullish on that,” said P. Vasudevan, chief general manager at the Department of Payment and Settlement of the RBI, said at the State Bank of India’s Banking and Economic Conclave on Wednesday.
  • A CBDC is a digital offshoot of a legal tender issued by the central bank with potential wide use by households and businesses to make payments and store value. The CBDC may help governments airdrop money directly into the pockets of the needy during times of stress like last year’s coronavirus-induced, country-wide lockdown.
  • China appears to be leading the global race to launch a digital currency, having distributed 10 million digital yuan to Shenzhen citizens a year ago. China’s CBDC has been used to conduct 62 billion yuan ($9.7 billion) of transactions as of the end of October, an official from the People’s Bank of China said.
  • Meanwhile, the RBI is on the job and looking into the various issues, and nuances related to CBDC like distribution and validation mechanisms and potential targets – wholesale/retail, Vasudevan said.
  • “It’s not a simple thing to just say that CBDC can be a habit from tomorrow on,” he noted, adding that a CBDC’s efficacy depends on how it’s implemented.
  • “The central bank is also checking if intermediaries can be bypassed altogether and, most importantly, checking if the technology should be decentralized or should be semi-centralized,” Vasudevan added.
  • The Indian government may table a crypto regulation bill in the upcoming winter session of the parliament, scheduled to start from Nov. 29 and end around Dec. 23.


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

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

Read more about