Digital or e-rupee worth over Rs 130 crore is in circulation on a pilot basis as of February 28, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had launched pilots in digital rupee in the wholesale segment (e₹-W) on November 1, 2022 and in the retail segment (e₹-R) on December 1, 2022.
Nine banks, viz., State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Yes Bank, IDFC First Bank and HSBC, have been participating in the digital rupee wholesale pilot, Sitharaman said.
“As on February 28, 2023, the total digital rupee – Retail (e₹-R) and digital rupee – wholesale (e₹-W) in circulation is Rs 4.14 crore and Rs 126.27 crore, respectively,” Sitharaman said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
The e₹-R is in the form of a digital token that represents legal tender. It is being issued in the same denominations that paper currency and coins are currently issued.
It is being distributed through financial intermediaries, i.e., banks. Users can transact with e₹-R through a digital wallet offered by the participating banks and stored on mobile phones/devices.
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A notification from the RBI has announced that India now allows international trade settlement in Rupee with Russia, Sri Lanka, and other nations.
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