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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor on Thursday said he cannot predict the exact timelines of when the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) will launched but will happen in the next financial year (FY23).

There will be no difference between the digital rupee and the normal rupee, Das said.

Earlier, news agency PTI reported that the digital currency issued by the RBI would be numbered in units, just like every fiat currency has an unique number.

The digital rupee blockchain, being developed by the Reserve Bank, would be able to trace all transactions, unlike the current system of mobile wallet offered by private companies.

Earlier, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech announced that the Central bank will launch its own digital currency.

"Digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system. It is, therefore, proposed to introduce Digital Rupee, using blockchain and other technologies, to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India starting 2022-23," the minister had said.

CBDC is a digital or virtual currency but it is not comparable to the private virtual currencies or cryptocurrency that have mushroomed over the last decade. Private virtual currencies do not represent any person's debt or liabilities as there is no issuer.

The government has already said that private cryptocurrencies will never be a legal tender. The RBI has been strongly opposing private cryptocurrencies as they could have implications on national security and financial stability.

Reiterating his concerns over cryptocurrencies, governor Das it clear that such assets are a threat to macroeconomic and financial stability, and undermine its ability to deal with challenges on the two fronts.

Cautioning investors, the governor said such assets have no underlying whatsoever, “not even a tulip".

The comments are a reiteration of institutional concerns on such assets expressed earlier but assume significance because they come days after the Union Budget put a 30 per cent tax on gains made on such assets.

The crypto stakeholders had welcomed the move as one which “legitimises" their trade.

“Private cryptocurrencies or whatever name you call it are a threat to our macroeconomic stability and financial stability. They will undermine the RBI's ability to deal with issues of financial stability and macroeconomic stability," Das told reporters.

He added that it is his “duty" to caution investors, and told them to keep in mind that they are investing at their own risk.

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