Mauritius is set to launch retail digital rupee

Seegolam stated that the Bank of Mauritius is "considering" commencing a pilot phase for a digital rupee in November.

Mauritius is set to launch retail digital rupee
Mauritius is set to launch retail digital rupee

The Governor of the Bank of Mauritius, Harvesh Kumar Seegolam, announced that the pilot phase of a digital rupee will commence in November. Numerous parameters of the potential central bank digital currency (CBDC) already exist.

Seegolam stated at the International Monetary Fund/World Bank Community of Central Bank Technologists meeting conducted on the main island that when he assumed office in 2020, he would prioritize CBDC development:

“As a central banker, I need not stress upon the determining role that CBDCs can play, not only in protecting monetary sovereignty but also in assisting central banks and regulatory authorities on the front of AML/CFT [Anti-Money Laundering/Combatting the Financing of Terrorism].”

In the same year, consultations with International Monetary Fund (IMF) experts resulted in the production of a feasibility report.

Seegolam asserts that Mauritius was the first nation to receive IMF technical assistance for its CBDC initiative.

In December, the Bank of Mauritius and an unnamed collaborator established a sandbox to investigate potential features and “craft the digital rupee based on Mauritian specifics.”

The digital rupee should be “a universally accessible payment instrument” that will be mediated to “ensure that commercial banks remain fully engaged in our CBDC journey.”

It will also facilitate the management of monetary policy and promote financial stability, according to Seegolam. The digital rupee will not accrue interest.

Seegolam stated that the Bank of Mauritius “is contemplating” launching a digital rupee pilot phase in November.

He added that the second phase of the initiative will be the development of its use in international transactions.

Mauritius has adopted blockchain technology incrementally over several years. In 2019, the country implemented regulations for digital asset custody licensing and security token offerings.

At one time, it was regarded as an emerging center for technology.