India wants to launch a digital rupee and tax crypto profits

India is planning to launch a digital version of the rupee, becoming the latest country to join the rush to create state-backed virtual currencies.

The country's central bank expects to introduce the currency "using blockchain and other technologies" some time in the new fiscal year, which begins in April, according to Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Presenting India's annual budget to parliament on Tuesday, Sitharaman said the digital rupee would "give a big boost to the digital economy." She did not give any further details about what the launch would entail, how widely a digital rupee might be used initially, or what impact it might have.

Digital payments have grown dramatically in popularity in India since late 2016, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi banned the country's two biggest rupee bank notes. Apart from homegrown players such as Paytm, some of the world's biggest tech companies, including Google and Facebook, have joined India's cashless payments boom.