Bank of Russia Steps Up Efforts to Issue Digital Rubles Due to Sanctions – Bitcoin News


The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has accelerated the development of its digital ruble in response to Western sanctions. The monetary authority now intends to conduct pilot transactions with the new version of the national fiat in early 2023 instead of 2024, as originally planned.

CBR to launch digital ruble transactions and smart contracts as soon as next year

Sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine have convinced the Bank of Russia to accelerate the development of the digital version of the ruble, the Russian-language edition of Forbes reported, citing CBR First Vice President Olga Skorobogatova. She revealed this during a meeting organized by the Association of Russian Banks.

The senior official remarked that the Russian central bank had initially scheduled the pilot of the digital ruble with real transactions and users for 2024, but it was decided to launch the project in April 2023. At the same time, the regulator also wants to start implementing smart contracts. based on the infrastructure of the digital ruble.

Last spring, the Central Bank of Russia announced that the prototype of the digital ruble will be ready by the end of 2021 and dedicated 2022 to tests with the participation of commercial banks. It began testing the platform in February of this year and announced the first successful transfers between individual wallets that same month.

Users were able to open digital ruble wallets through mobile apps, exchange regular electronic money from their bank accounts for digital rubles, and then transfer the coins between them, the CBR detailed. At that time, Skorobogatova assured that digital currency transactions will be free for all Russians and will be available in all regions of the country.

So far, a dozen Russian banks have applied to join the pilot group of the project and three of them have already connected their systems to the central bank digital currency (CBDC) platform. Two of the financial institutions have successfully completed a full cycle of digital ruble transfers between clients, the CBR revealed in its announcement.

The Bank of Russia has started testing the digital ruble amid disagreements with the Ministry of Finance over the future of cryptocurrencies in Russia. While the ministry wants them to be legalized and regulated, the monetary authority has proposed a blanket ban on cryptocurrency-related activities. Discussions on the issue continue in Moscow, but the central bank maintains its hard-line stance, insisting that the legalization of its circulation brings risks to the financial stability of the country and its citizens.

Forbes cites Fitch analysts who expect CBR to continue advocating a ban on decentralized cryptocurrencies to make room for the development of its own digital currency. They also suggest that the appearance of a digital ruble could lead to an outflow of funds from deposits in the banking system, increased competition in the financial market and an increase in interest rates.

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Bank of Russia, CBDC, CBR, Central Bank, Crypto, Cryptocurrency, Cryptocurrency, Digital Currency, digital ruble, invasion, pilot, pilot project, Regulation, Regulations, Russia, Russian, Sanctions, Evidence, trials, Ukraine, War

Do you think that the Bank of Russia will succeed in issuing the digital ruble by April 2023? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a tech-savvy Eastern European journalist who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is who I am, rather than what I do.” In addition to crypto, blockchain, and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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