Anatoly Aksakov, a member of the Russian parliament, revealed the country’s plans of launching a Digital Ruble.
Aksakov stated that the bank does intend to develop a digital version of the national currency. He added that the project might even begin testing next year.
Digital Ruble testing may begin next year
According to a Forbes report, Aksakov stated that the country had begun consultations regarding a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Aksakov added that he thinks a digital ruble with a start being tested in the next year.
Speaking at the Blockchain Life 2020 forum, Aksakov stated that the Russian central bank would certainly develop a digital Ruble which he claimed was the Digital Ruble might enter the testing phase as early as 2021. The conference was held in Moscow as a live event with nearly 3,000 participants.
Local media outlets believe that a digital ruble is very likely in the second half of 2021. The currency will be based on blockchain technology and used to track payments, monitor supply chains and prove the origin of the assets.
The digital version of the ruble will work similar to the cash and non-cash rubles and perform the three basic functions of money. These functions include acting as a means of payment, a measure of value and a store of value. Furthermore, all versions of the ruble will be equal according to the Russian Central Bank.
Is Russia trying to use its CBDC to avoid sanctions?
According to local media outlet Izvestia, a digital ruble can allow Russia to significantly decrease the dependence of the Russian economy on the US dollar. As such, the move would mitigate the risk of the foreign sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and the European Union.
The most recent sanctions were imposed by the EU on several high-level public officials in Russia over the alleged assassination attempt on opposition leader Alexei Navalny.