The Central Bank of Russia and participating commercial banks want to test different types of payments using digital rubles, the Russian press reports. The plan is to experiment with smart contracts and transactions related to the purchase of real estate and crypto assets.
Bank of Russia to Launch Smart Contracts on Digital Ruble Platform
Russia’s central bank intends to begin implementing smart contracts in digital rubles next April, the daily newspaper Izvestia revealed this week, citing regulators. Until then, the new state fiat will be tested in various scenarios, including automated payments and transactions between individual users and companies (e.g., real estate acquisition).
In December 2021, the Bank of Russia finalized the prototype platform for the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). In January of this year, 12 Russian banks joined the pilot project. The first stage involves issuing digital rubles, setting up bank and citizen wallets, and transferring money between the two. In the second stage, smart contracts will be introduced.
Smart contracts facilitate the fulfillment of contractual terms without involving a third party as a guarantor, explains Promsvyazbank (PSB). Money is stored in a smart contract wallet on the digital ruble platform and is sent to the seller’s wallet as soon as property rights are transferred. Rossbank added that the technology can be employed for targeted financing of property purchases by lenders.
Smart contracts for digital rubles allow large companies to conduct complex transactions, Vneshtorgbank (VTB) elaborated for the article. The bank, which is also participating in the pilot, told Izvestia that it plans to begin testing the purchase of digital financial assets (DFA) with digital rubles in September.
DFAs is the current legal term describing cryptocurrencies and tokens in Russia. A new bill, “On Digital Currencies,” designed to expand the regulatory framework for crypto assets, will be considered by Russian lawmakers this fall. Financial and technological restrictions imposed on Russia by the war in Ukraine may also give impetus to the digital ruble project, according to experts in Moscow.
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