Russia set to test Digital Ruble with 13 banks


  • Reports have it that the Bank of Russia (BoR) is set to begin operational testing for their CBDC on Aug 15, across 13 banks.
  • According to the deputy governor, citizens and businesses will be able to actively use the national digital currency on their own terms beginning in 2025.
  • CBDCs will make an important conversation in the BRICS meeting coming at the end of the year which Russia is part of.

Russia is poised to expand its digital ruble pilot by beginning real-world tests with 13 banks next week, the country’s central bank announced on Wednesday. According to reports, the Bank of Russia (BoR) will commence testing operations for the central bank digital currency (CBDC) project using digital rubles on August 15, 2023.

Russia to begin CBDC trials

President Vladimir Putin signed the digital ruble law in July, while the CBDC pilot has been in the works for quite some time. Russia, which has been severely sanctioned by the U.S. and Europe in response to its invasion of Ukraine, views the digital ruble as a means of evading the financial restrictions.

A statement issued by the Bank of Russia indicates that thirteen banks and a subset of their customers will participate in the pilot experiments. According to Olga Skorobogatova, the first deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, the initiation of pilot operations utilising authentic digital rubles is a crucial stage of the project. 

This phase facilitates the examination of the digital ruble platform’s functionality within an industrial context, the refinement of essential procedures in collaboration with clients, the identification of potential process adjustments, and the assurance of a user-friendly and understandable client experience.

The launch of pilot operations with real digital rubles is the most important stage of the project […] This will allow us to test the operation of the digital ruble platform already in an industrial environment, work out all the necessary procedures with the involvement of clients, adjust processes, if necessary, and make sure that the client path is convenient and understandable for users.

Bank of Russia

Skorobogatova went on to say that the bank’s strategy entails widely adopting the digital ruble, contingent on the results of gradual testing and the successful execution of extensive trials embracing all operational possibilities involving the digital ruble. According to the deputy governor, citizens and businesses would be able to actively use the national digital money at their own request beginning in 2025.

Worries around the CBDC

There has been a request for legal clarification over whether the digital ruble is a non-cash currency or a third form of money, as it is addressed inconsistently in various laws.

Two news organisations ran digital ruble polls. A third-party polling organisation polled 1,600 Russians for the larger Vedomosti. Only 15% were aware of intentions to implement the CBDC in 2025. Fifty-five percent were aware of the concept but were unaware of the specifics. The remaining 30% were informed for the first time by the pollster. 

Approximately half of those polled were unable to explain why a digital ruble is required. This figure was much higher for those who did not finish high school (75%). The use cases were more familiar to older users.

The CBDC laws permit foreign ownership of the digital ruble, and Russia is also investigating potential CBDC use cases for international payments. A BRICS convention is scheduled for later this month in South Africa, where a common digital currency is anticipated to be discussed.

How will the CBDC work?

According to the announcement, the initial phase of the pilot program will concentrate on refining fundamental processes, such as the establishment and funding of digital ruble accounts (digital wallets), digital ruble transactions between individuals, simple automated payments, and the use of QR codes for transactions involving the purchase of goods and services.

Participants in the pilot program will be able to use digital rubles to make purchases at 30 retail locations in 11 Russian cities. By the end of 2023, it is anticipated that the roster of pilot participants will be expanded to include both individuals and enterprises.

The range of transactions will be expanded in 2024, with an additional payment scenario using a dynamic QR code and permitting transfers between legal organizations. Furthermore, the scope of templates for simple automated payments will be expanded.

The launch of the digital ruble pilot had previously been postponed indefinitely due to the fact that its legislation had only passed to the first reading in the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Federal Assembly. Nonetheless, Russia moved on with the central bank digital currency program, with President Vladimir Putin enacting digital ruble law on July 24.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

Share link:

Florence Muchai

Florence is a crypto enthusiast and writer who loves to travel. As a digital nomad, she explores the transformative power of blockchain technology. Her writing reflects the limitless possibilities for humanity to connect and grow.

Most read

Loading Most Read articles...

Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox

Related News

Vodafone to Merge Crypto Wallets with SIM Cards
Subscribe to CryptoPolitan