The Central Bank of Russia has introduced digital assets, including a digital version of the Russian ruble, in its recently released draft new banking chart. In the future, financial institutions will be able to provide data on their operations with these assets.
Russian banks to record digital currency as an asset in their accounting books
The Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR) has released adraftof next year’s update of the Banking Chart of Accounts. starting in 2023, Russian financial institutions will be able to use digital and ruble flows and operations with digital financial assets (DFA), and will be required to account for new types of transactions.
Monetary authorities are expanding testing of a new central bank digital currency (CBDC) this year and hope to pilot real-value settlement in early 2023. Authorities in Moscow are also working to regulate decentralized digital currencies more comprehensively.
The current DFA law refers primarily to coins and tokens with issuers, but a new bill, “On Digital Currencies,” aims to cover cryptocurrencies like bitcoin more fully. Amid sanctions imposed against the escalating war in Ukraine, Russia wants to use both digital rubles and crypto assets for international payments.
Only one account is reserved for digital rubles, but banks will have multiple accounts to reflect DFA in the “acquired digital financial assets” and “issued digital assets” sections, according to Russian business news portal RBC’s crypto page details.
The regulator points out that commercial banks will only process transfers of CBDC funds, explaining the need for only one digital ruble account. The digital rubles are issued by the Bank of Russia and stored in the CBR’s wallet, with the credit institution acting as an intermediary providing services to individuals and organizations, such as executing money transfers.
Russia’s central bank is actively pursuing digital currency projects, with more than a dozen banks currently participating in a trial of the CBDC platform. Regulators are pushing for adoption in foreign trade, and other agencies, especially the Ministry of Finance, hope to also promote the employment of cryptocurrencies as a tool to circumvent Western financial regulations.
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