The Bank of Russia continues to work on the upcoming adoption of central bank digital currency (CBDC), planning an official rollout of the digital ruble in a few years.
According to the latest Bank of Russia monetary policy update, the authority will start connecting all banks and credit institutions to the digital ruble platform in 2024. This would 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.
By then, the central bank plans to complete “real-money” customer-to-customer transaction testing as well as customer-to-business and business-to-customer settlement testing.
In 2023, the Bank of Russia also intends to conduct beta tests of ruble-based digital smart contracts for transactions by a limited circle of participants.
The bank emphasized that it plans to roll out the CBDC in a phased manner, unlocking new and different trials and features from year to year. As soon as the Federal Treasury is ready, the digital ruble will also feature consumer-to-government, business-to-government, government-to-consumer and government-to-business payments, the Bank of Russia said.
The central bank also plans to introduce the offline mode for the digital ruble by 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 the 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 conduct cross-border and foreign exchange transactions with digital currencies, the authority added.
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As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Russia launched its first digital ruble trials in February 2022, following its official CBDC roadmap released last year. The Bank of Russia previously formed a group of twelve banks to test the digital ruble, including big banking giants like Sber, VTB, Tinkoff Bank and others.
While following the CBDC’s rollout plans, Russia has been somewhat behind on its goals of regulating the crypto industry. President Putin urged the adoption of crypto regulations several times before Russia passed its crypto law “On Digital Financial Assets”, which has not changed much as many regulatory aspects are still missing. such as crypto mining, taxation and others.