Research Group Backed By Reserve Bank Of India Plan National Digital Currency

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A research group founded by India’s central bank has announced plans to launch a new blockchain platform.

The Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), founded in the 1990s by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), is seeking to create a spectrum of banking-related services on top of the new proposed blockchain tech according to a report from The Hindu Business Line.

“We will be launching this platform very soon,” IDRBT director A. S. Ramasastri told attendees of the event.

The same group has been exploring creating blockchain applications in the sector of banking since at least last year, CoinDesk reported.

In a report published in January, IDRBT released its white paper focused on blockchain suggesting that India could use blockchain as the basis for a digitization of India’s national currency the rupee.  Although, regulators in India have been studying the tech since 2014.

“From a technological perspective, we feel that blockchain has matured enough and there is sufficient awareness among the stakeholders which makes this an appropriate time for initiating suitable efforts towards digitizing the Indian Rupee through blockchain,” the group wrote.

“Banks may setup a private blockchain for their internal purposes,” they added. “This not only helps them to train human resources in the technology, but also benefits by enabling efficient asset management and opportunities for cross-selling.”

That proposal came as India’s government has continued to push ahead with a plan to demonetize denominations of the\ 500 and 1000 rupee note, a move that continues to be highly controversial to this day, according to India Today.

In November of last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushed for withdrawing the Indian rupee bank notes. Modi later double-down on his plan, calling for India to embrace digital money a month later. Then the Indian government went on to begin amending legislation to further those plans.

This comes as other BRICS nation alliance countries have also begun to back blockchain technology and have announced they are preparing their own national digital currencies.

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