The Indian Digital Currency wants to put an end to Cash

At the Union Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government was considering introducing its very own Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), or in the case of India, a digital rupee, by the year 2023. For most observers, the announcement seemed to be a bouncer of sorts. After all, what would be the use case for a CBDC in India at this point in time, when basic financial inclusion itself, let alone digital banking, has not hit the sweet spot as far as the masses are concerned.

As per a BIS survey of central banks conducted in 2021, 86% of the institutions were actively researching the potential for CBDCs, while 60% were experimenting with the technology and 14% were deploying pilot projects. It may be recalled that barring China, no other major economy has conducted extensive trials on the implementation of CBDCs. Singapore, which was following closely on the heels of China, seems to have put on hold its plans of issuing a CBDC.

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

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