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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 24 August, 2022

  • 8 Min Read

Central Bank Digital Currency UPSC

Central Bank Digital Currency- UPSC

According to a recent report, the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) may be implemented gradually, starting with wholesale enterprises during the current fiscal year.

Major Points

  • The budgetary speech said that the CBDC would be introduced by the central bank in the 2022–23 fiscal year.
  • The attitude of the RBI is that it has consistently opposed private digital currencies and has asked the government to extend the use of the paper rupee to encompass digital currency.
  • In order to start a CBDC, RBI suggested changes to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
  • In October 2021, the RBI submitted a proposal to the government for a change to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, to broaden the definition of "banknote" to encompass money in digital form.
  • In order to introduce CBDC with minimal to no impact, RBI has been looking at use cases and developing a phased rollout approach.
  • Government's Plan: The government at the time intended to put a Bill into Parliament that would, with some exceptions, outlaw all private cryptocurrencies in India.

About CBDC

  • CBDC is a type of legal tender that is distributed digitally by central banks.
  • It is the sovereign currency in electronic form, and on the balance sheet of a central bank, it would show up as a liability (currency in circulation).
  • CBDCs are distinct from decentralized virtual currencies and crypto assets, which are not issued by the government and do not have the status of "legal cash," while being directly inspired by Bitcoin.

Features:

  • A CBDC's form, use, and underlying technology can all be customized to meet individual needs.
  • It is comparable to a fiat currency that is printed on paper and is interchangeable with all other fiat currencies, meaning that CBDCs ought to be convertible into cash at par.
  • Wallets supported by blockchain can be used to transact with the digital fiat currency or CBDC.
  • CBDCs give users the ability to carry out domestic and international transactions without the aid of a third party or bank.

Launch:

  • Beginning with the following fiscal year, the Reserve Bank of India will introduce the CBDC.
  • The government has plans to introduce the CBDC, which will be supported by blockchain technology.

Government’s intention

  • The declaration outlines the government's intentions with regard to cryptocurrencies and other virtual currencies.
  • The RBI had intended to introduce its own CBDC and has previously raised concerns about the potential for money laundering, financing of terrorism, tax evasion, etc. using private cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether.

Sovereign digital currencies are widely used:

  • In comparison to the 35 countries that were investigating a CBDC in May 2020, 87 countries—representing over 90% of the world's GDP—are studying one as of December 2021.
  • Nine of them—the Bahamas, seven nations in the eastern Caribbean, and Nigeria—have already completely introduced digital currencies.
  • The e-Naira, the first CBDC outside the Caribbean, was introduced by Nigeria as the most recent CBDC
  • The US, the Euro Area, Japan, and the UK are the major nations with the four largest central banks, but they lag far behind.
  • There are 14 nations currently developing their CBDCs and preparing for a potential full launch, including China and South Korea.

Significance

  • The digital economy will benefit greatly from it, and India will be the first major nation to formally introduce its money in this way.
  • In contrast to the existing digital payment experience, a rupee transaction would be immediate.
  • A payment method that is more reliable, effective, trustworthy, controlled and based on legal tender.
  • Similar to how UPI made the digital currency more user-friendly.
  • Less reliance on money.
  • Decreased risk of settlement.
  • Lower transaction costs could result in higher seigniorage, which would help with things like cross-border remittances.

Challenges

  • Price Volatility: Susceptible to price changes and a waste of computing resources.
  • Lack of Consumer Protection: Securities and Exchange Board of India Control and the Absence of Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (SEBI).
  • Digital Illiteracy: Indians are currently unprepared to deal with cryptocurrencies.
  • Security dangers cyberattacks on trading systems and wallets (Cryptojacking).
  • It can be used for illegal commerce, criminal activity, and organised crime if it is not properly regulated and monitored.
  • The popularity of cryptocurrencies: The RBI has regularly raised concerns about concerns with private cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, etc., including money laundering, financing of terrorism, tax evasion, etc.

Way Forward

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ought to use the already-existing infrastructure via NPCI to hasten the implementation and widespread use of the digital rupee via the QR code system.
  • Its own CBDC launch has been viewed as a method to balance the benefits and dangers of digital money.

We're anticipating an official statement from the RBI that will go into more detail on how people will use the Digital Rupee

Also, Read - China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Source: The Hindu


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