India Media Reports Central Bank Has Postponed ‘Crypto-Rupee’ Plans
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is pausing its plans to launch a digital currency, Indian business news outlet the Hindu Business Line published on Jan. 1.
India’s central bank had originally proclaimed its intentions to consider a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in April of this year, at the time mentioning the establishment of an interdepartmental group to look into potential advantages and viability.
In August, RBI confirmed the creation of the group, mentioning that it was researching a CBDC that would be backed the rupee for reasons comprising the cost of printing paper and the rising popularity of using digital tokens.
Now, amid confusion over the group’s exact findings, which endure a mystery, Delhi has seemingly had a change of heart.
“The government doesn’t want the digital currency any more. It thinks it is too early to even think about a digital currency,” Hindu Business Line quotes an anonymous source as saying.
The hesitancy echoes that which the government showed last week on the topic of virtual currency regulation. Non-CBDC assets such as Bitcoin (BTC) will endure in a gray area for the foreseeable future, one state minister told parliament, stating the issue was being approached with due caution.
Expectations had been that India would put some form of regulatory framework in place in 2018, amid anger over RBI’s ongoing ban on crypto dealing processing by banks.
The government, meanwhile, endures to seek ways of decreasing cash usage in India while attaching transactions to consumers’ biometric data through the Aadhaar scheme — supposedly the world’s biggest biometric ID system, which comprises the records of more than one billion people.
Some parties looked reassured at the shelving of the CBDC option.
“It is premature for RBI to launch crypto-rupee, as more understanding of the crypto economy need to be achieved,” local virtual currency exchange Belfrics founder Praveen Kumar told Hindu BusinessLine. He supplemented:
“It is a right decision to delay the process and see how the publicly traded peer-to-peer economy is shaping up.”