The Bank of Russia continues to work towards the upcoming adoption of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), planning an official digital ruble rollout in a few years.
According to the Bank of Russia’s latest monetary policy update, the authority will start linking all banks and credit institutions to the digital ruble platform in 2024. It will be an important year for Russia as the country is expected to hold presidential elections in March 2024. And incumbent President Vladimir Putin has the constitutional right to be re-elected.
Until that time, the central bank expects to complete “real money” testing of customer-to-business and business-to-customer settlements, along with customer-to-customer transaction tests.
In 2023, the Bank of Russia also intends to beta test digital ruble-based smart contracts for trades by a limited circle of participants.
The bank explained that it expects to proceed gradually with the rollout of the CBDC, unlocking a variety of new trials and features year after year. As the Federal Treasury is ready, the digital ruble will include 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 the integration of non-bank financial intermediaries, financial platforms and exchange infrastructure, as well as the introduction of an offline mode for the digital ruble by 2025.
“The phased process of introducing the digital ruble will provide market participants with an opportunity to adapt to the new conditions,” the Bank of Russia said.
The authority said the Bank of Russia will also cooperate with other central banks, which are developing their own digital currencies to conduct cross-border and foreign exchange operations with digital currencies.
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As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Russia began its first digital ruble trial in February 2022, following its official CBDC roadmap released last year. The Bank of Russia formed a group of twelve banks to test the first digital ruble, which included major banking giants such as Sber, VTB, Tinkoff Bank and others.
Continuing with the CBDC rollout plans, Russia has been somewhat lagging behind in its goal of regulating the crypto industry. President Putin urged Russia to adopt crypto regulation several times before adopting its crypto law “On Digital Financial Assets”, which did not change much as it still lacked many regulatory aspects such as cryptomining, taxation and others. Is.