Despite India’s silence on crypto, Reliance Retail will accept CBDC in Mumbai

On Thursday, February 2, Reliance Retail announced that its Mumbai stores would adopt India’s digital rupee CBDC. In order to accept CBDC payments, the retail giant has partnered with ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank. Select cities, including Mumbai, have been implementing the CBDC program. To make a CBDC payment, Reliance Retail customers need the banks’ digital rupee app to scan a QR code.

On Thursday, V Subramaniam, the managing director at Reliance Retail, announced the development. “I believe CBDC will be better than the UPI system. Transactions will be anonymous and protected. Moreover, acceptance across 17,000 Reliance Retail stores will play a role in getting CBDC adopted,” Subramaniam stated.

Powered by blockchain, the CBDC represents India’s fiat currency digitally. The use of CBDCs would maintain unchangeable and transparent records of transactions on the blockchain, and it would also cut down on the additional costs associated with online transactions, such as service charges.

India tests digital rupee in metro cities

The CBDC of India officially began its retail trial in four cities in December last year – New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Bhubaneswar. As part of the ongoing CBDC trials, the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, and IDFC First Bank are also participating.

Subramaniam’s announcement on CBDC acceptance comes just one day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman skipped over the subject during her budget address. Despite scepticism about cryptocurrencies, India is open to exploring the potential of blockchain technology. The RBI Governor, Shaktikanta Das, had said last November that this CBDC would lead to a major transformation in the way businesses operate. As per appropriate legal provisions, CBDC transactions would remain anonymous ‘to a certain degree’, according to an RBI official in December 2022.


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