Russian Banks to Start Testing Digital Ruble CBDC on Customers

Lavina Daryanani
Source: Ledger Insights

Russian banks are expected to start testing the digital ruble CBDC on customers soon. State-owned news Agency TASS recently reported that the process will begin after the regulatory framework is adopted by the end of April-May.

Also Read: Russia to Use Chinese Yuan for Trade Settlements With Asia, Africa, Latin America

Initially, the digital ruble customer testing pilot was set to kickstart on April 1. However, the legislation has only passed through the first reading in the State Duma [the assembly’s lower house], leading to the testing delay. The Central Bank will now begin the testing only after the regulatory framework for implementation is adopted.

Anatoly Aksakov, Head of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market, said that the start of testing the digital ruble would have to be “postponed.” According to Aksakov, the law on the digital ruble is likely to be adopted in April and enter into force in May.

According to TASS, the central bank announced that 13 banks have “technically confirmed their readiness.” In fact, they will take part in the pilot on real operations with a limited number of clients. Interestingly, some bank employees will also become test participants for the digital ruble retail payments. Parallelly, one of the country’s largest insurance companies, Ingosstrakh, will also take part in the initiative.

Also Read – CBDC: UAE Central Bank Launches its Digital Dirham Strategy

CBDC to create new opportunities

Commenting on the latest state of affairs, Olga Makhova, Director for Innovation and Data Management at Rosbank said,

“There are no difficulties in interaction. However, we are well aware that we are building the platform of the future, so all issues related to the interaction of systems with the Central Bank and the digital ruble platform are resolved promptly.”

Sinara Bank’s Innovation Director, Vitaly Kopysov, opined that the usage of smart contracts could lead to a reduction in the operational burden on banks. In retrospect, client transactions will become transparent. That, in turn, will reduce the possibility of misuse of the earmarked funds and simplify control over concluded contracts. The executive further added,

“The main task of the digital ruble is to create new opportunities for the state and business. Banks as financial intermediaries will receive a new infrastructure for transfers using the digital ruble, including cross-border ones. New services will be created, stimulating increased competition for customers in the financial sector.”