Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman confirmed at the parliament budget session on Tuesday that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will issue a digital rupee based on blockchain, as she proposed the issuance for financial year 2022-23.

Fast facts

  • “Digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system,” the minister said in her speech at Budget 2022.
  • Last October, the central bank proposed amendments to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, to include digital currencies in the definition of “banknotes.”
  • The RBI, the nation’s central bank, last year voiced the need for India to pursue its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) as the parliament was mulling a ban on the use of cryptocurrencies.
  • India’s announcement comes just days before the Beijing Winter Olympics, when China is scheduled to showcase its CBDC, the digital yuan, to the international audience.