The Bank of Russia launched a digital ruble experiment in 2022 to explore business models and innovative use cases for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
The Central Bank of Russia emphasized that the pilot project aims to better understand the regulatory, legal, and technical aspects of CBDCs, and plans to launch an official digital ruble within a few years.
Russia’s central bank’s latest monetary policy said the country plans to connect the digital ruble platform to all banks and credit institutions by 2024.
In March 2024, a new round of elections will be held on whether the current Russian President Vladimir Putin will be re-elected. By then, the digital ruble is expected to have completed customer-to-customer transaction trials and customer-to-business and business-to-customer settlements.
To facilitate the rollout of the digital ruble, the Bank of Russia will also conduct a beta test of the digital ruble-based smart contract with a limited number of participants in 2023.
At the same time, it is expected that in 2025, the offline mode of the digital ruble will be completed.
The Central Bank of Russia stated:
“The phased process of introducing the digital ruble will provide market participants with the opportunity to adapt to new conditions.”
The Bank of Russia noted that the Russian economy is increasingly digitized, thus requiring an advanced payment system based on a government-backed digital currency.
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