The Central Bank of Russia has emphasized the importance of advancing its digital ruble project. Although not all invited banks are ready to participate, the monetary authorities have no intention of delaying the trial, according to a statement from a senior representative.
Bank of Russia to experiment with digital ruble payments this year
Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, said in a statement recently quoted on the crypto page of the business news portal RBC that the digital ruble is “in great demand.” The senior official said and detailed that the regulator will not delay upcoming tests of the prototype currency platform:
If we act quickly with testing and legislative changes, we can implement them in the next few years.
The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) began trialling the digital ruble in January and announced the first successful transaction between personal wallets in mid-February. At least a dozen Russian financial institutions are participating in the experiment, which is expected to last until 2022.
Skorobogatova acknowledged that not all participating banks are now technically ready to join the test. However, she insisted that this should not affect the timing of the project to issue Russia’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
Skorobogatova revealed earlier this year that the second phase of the trial is scheduled to begin in the fall. At this stage, the CBR plans to launch businesses involving the use of digital rubles to pay for goods and services, as well as government transfers. The bank will also issue smart contracts in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Finance.
The digital ruble is the third incarnation of the Russian state fiat currency, after paper money and electronic banking money to be issued by the Russian Central Bank. Russians will be able to use it both online and offline. CBR says its CBDC will create new opportunities for citizens, businesses and nations.
Moscow has heard calls to turn to cryptocurrencies as a means of circumventing restrictions and financing international trade as Russia grapples with the fallout of expanded Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine. The idea of making the digital ruble a reserve currency also circulated last month as a way to reduce Russia’s reliance on the dollar, whose foreign reserves are now frozen.
Do you think the Central Bank of Russia will step up the testing and issuance of the digital ruble? Let us know in the comments section below.
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