The Central Bank of the Russian Federation continues to step up its efforts to test and issue the digital ruble, with a roadmap for the full implementation of the new form of state security currently expected by the end of 2023.
The trial version for real transactions and users is expected to start earlier than planned in April next year.
Olga Skorobogatova, the first deputy director of the Central Bank of Russia, told TASS that the launch of Bitcoin.com, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), is expected to be at the end of 2023. News agencies publish previously set deadlines in advance.
The senior official also indicates that regulators plan to start test operations of the Central Bank of Russia (CBDC) digital currency with real customers as early as April 2023 with real customers, and these plans have also been revised. Skorobogatova emphasized that next year will be very important for the project.
“Testing real-world operations gives us the opportunity to understand and remember what needs to change, what needs to be improved, and what needs to change. We hope to develop a roadmap for the adoption of the digital ruble by the end of next year. ” He said on Sunday (June 26, 2022) citing Bitcoin.com.
The deputy governor, for example, currently has 12 banks participating in the experiment. Three other banks want to participate in the experiment, and the Monetary Authority has also received applications from several non-financial institutions.
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Olga Skorobogatova said that it is too early to tell the results of the current stage because the participants moved at different speeds.
“But more than half of the banks in the pilot group are doing very well and meeting the deadline,’ he said.
The CBDC project has grown in importance amid escalating Western sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The executive added that the central bank must conduct cross-border interactions between the digital ruble and other countries’ digital currencies to make the Russian financial system more independent.
“I think every proud country will have a national digital currency within three years,” said Skorobogatova. “We also need to build cross-border cooperation in this direction.”
“Of course we need to be ready as soon as possible. Also, this solves the problem with SWIFT above all, because with this integration we no longer need SWIFT.”
The Bank of Russia presented the concept of the digital ruble in a report published in October 2020. The prototype of the central bank digital currency platform was completed in December 2021 and the trial phase started in January 2022.
As part of the experiment, CBR and the Russian Commercial Bank plan to test various types of payments in digital rubles, including settlements for real estate transactions, the daily Izvestia reported recently.
Previously, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation emphasized the importance of proceeding with the project in digital rubles. According to the representative’s statement, the financial authorities have no intention of delaying the trial, despite all invited banks being reluctant to participate.
Olga Skorovogatova, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), said in a recent statement that regulators will not delay the testing of the digital ruble.
Skorobogatova, citing Bitcoin.com on Thursday, May 19, 2022, said, “If we move quickly through testing and legislative changes, we could implement this in the next few years.”
CBR started experimenting with digital rubles in January and announced the first successful transactions between private wallets in mid-February. At least a dozen Russian financial institutions are participating in the experiment, which is expected to take place throughout 2022.
Skorobogatova acknowledges that not all participating banks are technically ready to participate in this follow-up examination. However, he argued that this should not affect the timing of the digital currency issuance project for the Central Bank of Russia (CBDC).
Skorobogatova said earlier this year that phase 2 trials will begin in the fall. At this stage, CBR plans to start operations that include payment for goods and services in digital rubles, as well as government transfers.
The bank will also work with the Federal Ministry of Finance to issue a smart contract, which Russian citizens can use for these digital rubles both online and offline. CBR says central bank digital currencies will create new opportunities for citizens, businesses and nations.
As Russia grapples with the effects of increased Western sanctions on the Ukraine war, calls have been made in Moscow to switch to cryptocurrency as a way to circumvent regulations and finance international trade.
The idea of making the digital ruble a key currency was also circulated last month as a way to reduce Russia’s dependence on the US dollar.