The Bank of Russia continues to work for the future adoption of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), planning an official rollout of the digital ruble in a few years.
According to the latest update of the monetary policy of the Bank of Russia, lThe authority will start connecting all banks and credit institutions to the digital ruble platform in 2024. That would be an important year for Russia, as the country is expected to hold presidential elections in March 2024 and current President Vladimir Putin has the constitutional right to be reelected.
By then, the central bank expects to complete tests of “real money” transactions between customers, as well as tests of settlement between customers and businesses.
In 2023, the Bank of Russia also plans to beta test ruble-based smart contracts for operations of a limited circle of participants.
The bank noted that it expects to roll out a CBDC gradually, unlocking new tests and different features year after year. As soon as the Federal Treasury is ready, the digital ruble will also offer consumer-to-government, business-to-government, as well as government-to-consumer and government-to-business payments, the Bank of Russia said.
The central bank also expects to introduce offline mode for the digital ruble in 2025, along with the integration of non-bank financial intermediaries, financial platforms and exchange infrastructure.
“The gradual process of introducing the digital ruble will provide market participants with an opportunity to adapt to new conditions,” the Bank of Russia noted.
The Bank of Russia will also cooperate with other central banks developing their own digital currencies to carry out cross-border and foreign exchange operations with digital currencies, the authority added.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, Russia debuted its first digital ruble tests in February 2022, following its official CBDC roadmap published last year.. The Bank of Russia previously formed a group of twelve banks to test the digital ruble, including major banking giants such as Sber, VTB, Tinkoff Bank and others.
While keeping up with CBDC rollout plans, Russia has fallen a bit behind in its goals of regulating the cryptocurrency industry. President Putin urged to adopt cryptocurrency regulation multiple times before Russia adopted its cryptocurrency law “On Digital Financial Assets” which did not change much as it still lacks many aspects of regulation such as cryptocurrency mining, taxes and others.
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