According to local news sources, The Central Bank of Russia has revealed plans to begin early-stage testing for the proposed digital version of its currency, Ruble. An executive member of the apex financial institution of Russia further substantiated the reports, confirming the organization aims to complete the full prototype, with the holistic trial phase set scheduled for 2022.
The said executive officer of the bank, Alexey Zabotkin, disclosed the details in an online event organized by Moscow’s New Economic School. However, the plan for a Russian digital ruble has long been in the public’s awareness since the last quarter of 2020 when it was first revealed. But until recent developments such as this, only a few specific details were given in the first announcement.
According to Zabotkin, only “virtual transactions” would be carried out during the pilot stage. That is, participants may only carry out transactions to identify possible issues that may arise when the virtual currencies are fully rolled-out. Russian digital ruble to undergo more trials and tests.
Ideally, there would be several such test phases carried out until the platform is fine-tuned to work efficiently as a retail payments system. As Zabotkin pointed out, that all-important measure would be applied in the digitalization of the Russian ruble. In his own words: “Based on this prototype, including refinement, we will start rolling out trial rounds next year.”
Russia’s Plan For a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)
Russia is not the only country planning to set up a CBDC. From 2020 when several influential bodies started changing their hitherto unfriendly attitude to cryptocurrencies, much less, CBDCs, there was a bad outlook to the possibility of seeing top countries adopting a digital system of value exchange. Russia itself has been one of those hostile countries.
But even though there have been few improvements in its policy as regards Investment in blockchain assets, the announcement of a decision to launch digital ruble sent out positive signals that a change might come soon. Though, crypto lovers had to wait until October 2020 for that progression to come.
Digital Ruble Would be as Efficient as Physical Money But Not Replace it
Though the crypto industry waits to see if CBDC would grow to replace Fiat currency, Russia’s central bank believes a digital ruble can be an “additional form of money alongside hard cash…” It was also stated in the document papers that the digital ruble will be used to facilitate a risk-free allocation of budgets, which would help stabilize the critical financial factors of Russia’s economy.
Explaining how users would transact with the new currency, the Central Bank said e-wallets (available on mobile devices both online and offline) will be developed and made accessible to the citizens. From there, users can pay or charge for everyday services. But it wasn’t clarified how the infrastructure for these would be managed or if fee deduction features would be integrated to generate funds for its maintenance.