The Central Bank of Russia emphasized the importance of promoting the digital ruble project. According to a high-ranking representative, the monetary authorities do not intend to postpone the trials, despite the fact that not all of the invited banks are ready to take part yet.
The Bank of Russia will experiment with digital ruble payments this year
The digital ruble is “very much needed,” First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia Olga Skorobogatova recently noted in a statement quoted by crypto news portal RBC. The regulator will not postpone the upcoming testing of a prototype currency platform, the senior official said and clarified:
If we move quickly with testing and legislative changes, we can implement it in the next few years.
The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) began testing the digital ruble in January and announced the first successful transactions between individual wallets in mid-February. At least a dozen Russian financial institutions are participating in the experiments, which are expected to continue through 2022.
According to Skorobogatova, not all participating banks are technically ready to join the tests right now. However, according to her, this should not affect the timing of the Russian central bank’s digital currency project (CBDC).
The second stage of testing is scheduled to begin in the fall, Skorobogatova said earlier this year. At this stage, the Central Bank plans to launch operations on payment for goods and services with the digital ruble, as well as state transfers. The bank will also issue smart contracts in cooperation with the Federal Treasury.
The digital ruble is the third incarnation of Russia’s national fiat currency, after paper cash and electronic – bank money to be issued by the Russian central bank. Russians will be able to use it both online and offline. The Central Bank claims that the CBRK will create new opportunities for citizens, businesses and the state.
As Russia struggles with the effects of expanding Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine, there have been calls in Moscow to turn to cryptocurrencies as a means of circumventing restrictions and financing international trade. The idea of making the digital ruble a reserve currency was also circulating last month as a way to reduce Russia’s dependence on the U.S. dollar now that its foreign exchange reserves abroad are frozen.
Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons