The scheduled trial of Russia’s digital ruble has been postponed; it was due on April 1. This is because the regulatory framework necessary for the pilot to proceed is yet to be adopted, as the state-owned news agency TASS reports.
As per the same report, the legislation concerning CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) could be approved by the Russian State Duma in the upcoming month and is expected to come into effect by May. This trial period for the digital ruble in Russia is planned to include 13 banks.
The report also suggested that some employees of the participating banks and one of the largest insurance companies in Russia, Ingosstrakh, are set to become test participants for CBDC retail payments. They will be involved in the trial of the digital ruble.
Once the pilot run of the digital ruble commences, these selected individuals will be among the first to test the effectiveness and efficiency of CBDC retail payments.
Russia Looks Forward To The Digital Ruble
Russian bank executives are reportedly highly enthusiastic about the digital ruble, as mentioned by Vitaly Kopysov, the Director of Innovations at Sinara Bank.
The use of smart contracts should reduce the operational load of banks and make the deals transparent, which not only will reduce the chances of the misuse of government and banks’ funds, but ultimately simplify the control over the existing contracts.
Implementing the digital ruble is expected to bring about significant changes in Russia’s banking industry and financial sector, making transactions more secure, efficient, and accessible for customers.
Adopting CBDC technology will streamline payment processes and bring new opportunities for innovation and growth.
Russia had initially chalked a plan to conduct its CBDC trial in 2024. However, the central bank of Russia has expedited the timeline by a year due to financial sanctions imposed by Western governments.
Launching the digital ruble might positively affect the Russian economy, which will help mitigate the effects of foreign sanctions imposed on it following its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Other Details About The Digital Ruble
The upcoming trial of the digital ruble will comprise real-time transactions and real consumers. However, it will still be limited in scope.
During the initial phase, the general public will not be allowed to participate because only a handful of selected customers from the participating banks will be allowed to participate in the pilot.
After the conclusion of the first stage, the Bank of Russia will evaluate how to expand the scope of the digital ruble. Recently, several nations have shown interest in introducing their digital currency, or CBDC.
Nations such as Japan, Brazil, and India have been pro-CBDC. China is also a leader in the CBDC race; it has been advancing its CBDC or digital yuan pilot programs for the past few years.
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