According to a report from Moneycontrol on September 5, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is in discussions with fintech firms and four public sector banks to trial the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) project, with a potential launch scheduled for later in 2022, as reported by Cryptoslate.
One of the firms the central bank is apparently consulting is Fidelity National Information Services (FIS). According to a news release on August 25, FIS gives banks central infrastructure payment solutions to develop or update their real-time payments systems as well as a CBDC Virtual Lab to help nations trial CBDC initiatives.
Cryptoslate further noted that the fintech business counsels central banks on issues related to cross-border CBDC payments, offline and programmable payments, money rules, and financial inclusion.
“FIS has had various engagements with the RBI and our connected ecosystem could be extended to the RBI to experiment various CBDC options,” Julia Demidova, senior director, FIS told Moneycontrol.
As per Cryptoslate, after Sitharaman finished speaking, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal declared that India would adopt the RBI’s CBDCs as its official and legal tender. The Indian government does not accept private cryptocurrencies as legal cash, he continued, but if citizens choose to keep the asset, a 30% crypto tax will be levied. Private cryptocurrencies include all non-RBI-issued digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ether.
RBI proposed to adopt a “graded approach” to launch India’s CBDC in its annual report 2021-2022. “The Reserve Bank proposes to adopt a graded approach to the introduction of CBDC, going step by step through stages of proof of concept, pilots and the launch,” RBI stated.
Earlier in July, Finance Minister Sitharaman commented on and raised concerns about the “destabilising effect of cryptocurrencies on the monetary and fiscal stability of a country” and said a legislative framework should be implemented in the sector.
(With insights from Cryptoslate)