The Bank of Russia continues to advance the deployment of the central bank digital currency (CBDC), with an official launch of the digital ruble scheduled for the coming years.
The Bank of Russia will start connecting all banks and credit institutions to the digital ruble network in 2024, according to the most recent monetary policy statement from the institution.
Major developments in Russia in the coming years
Since Russia is expected to conduct presidential elections in March 2024 and existing President Vladimir Putin has the constitutional right to run for reelection, that would be a significant year for the nation. The central bank anticipates finishing customer-to-customer “real money” transaction tests, as well as testing customer-to-business and business-to-customer transactions by that time.
Moreover, the central bank plans to beta test digital ruble-based smart contracts for transactions by a limited number of people in 2023.
The bank made it clear that it intends to move through with the CBDC rollout gradually, opening up fresh, unique trials and features year after year. The digital ruble will also support consumer-to-government, government-to-consumer, business-to-government, and government-to-business payments as soon as the Federal Treasury is ready, according to the Bank of Russia.
In addition, the central bank anticipates integrating non-bank financial intermediaries, financial platforms, and exchange infrastructure by 2025, along with the offline mode for the digital ruble. It went on to add:
“The phased process of introducing the digital ruble will provide market participants with the opportunity to adapt to new conditions.”
Moreover, the bank stated that it would cooperate with the central banks of other countries working on developing their own CBDCs to carry out cross-border and foreign exchange transactions with digital currencies.
Following the introduction of its formal CBDC roadmap last year, Russia launched its first digital ruble testing in February 2022, as TheCoinRise reported. Twelve banks were selected by the Bank of Russia to test the digital ruble, including well-known institutions like Sber, VTB, Tinkoff Bank, and others.