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Of this total e-rupee circulation, Rs 10.69 crore constituted wholesale CBDC, while Rs 5.70 crore comprised retail CBDC, according to RBI data.

The Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), also known as the e-rupee, was in circulation with a total worth of Rs 16.39 crore as of March 2023, according to data from the Reserve Bank of India’s Handbook of Statistics on the Indian Economy for FY23.

Of this total e-rupee circulation, Rs 10.69 crore constituted wholesale CBDC, while Rs 5.70 crore comprised retail CBDC.

The e-rupee serves as the digital representation of India’s legal tender, mirroring physical currency in various denominations and is distributed to banks.

Among the different denominations, the Rs 500 CBDC notes had the highest circulation at Rs 2.71 crore, followed closely by the Rs 200 notes at Rs 1.16 crore. Other denominations, ranging from 50 paise to Rs 100, accounted for circulation percentages between Rs 0.01 and 0.83 crore. The Rs 5 CBDC notes in circulation were worth Rs 12 lakh and the Rs 10 notes were of Rs 15 lakh in circulation. The CBDC notes of Rs 50 denomination were worth Rs 39 lakh while it was Rs 83 lakh total for Rs 100 CBDC notes.

CBDC pilot

The Reserve Bank of India initiated the CBDC pilot for the wholesale segment, referred to as CBDC (W), in November 2022, initially focused on settling secondary market transactions in government securities. Presently, the central bank is exploring opportunities to expand the usage of e-rupee in other interbank money markets.

The retail pilot, known as CBDC (R), was launched in December 2022, within a closed user group comprising participating customers, banks, and merchants. Initially introduced with eight public and private sector banks, the retail e-rupee has since been extended to more banks and made interoperable with UPI QR codes.

In September RBI announced the successful completion and implementation of UPI interoperability with CBDC. The current focus is on increasing the volume of e-rupee transactions, aiming to escalate the daily transactions from approximately 15,000 to one million (10 lakh)

  • Published On Sep 19, 2023 at 08:00 AM IST

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