After due consultations among stakeholders, Russia has postponed the launch of its pilot project with the digital ruble until early May. The decision is due to the need to adopt adequate regulatory frameworks.
The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) believes the digital ruble will become essential to the country’s financial infrastructure. However, the bank must ensure that digital currency is safe and reliable.
Russia Sets May 2023 For CBDC Pilot Launch Date
Recent reports indicate that Russia is preparing to initiate its pilot project for the digital ruble. However, this will only happen after establishing the necessary regulatory frameworks, likely at the beginning of May.
TASS, a Russian news agency, announced that the launch of the nation’s CBDC was postponed to the end of the month or the beginning of May 2023, contrary to the previously announced April launch.
Furthermore, it mentioned that the banks in Russia are still eager to go ahead with the pilot tests regarding transactions and activities with the digital ruble. Reports claim that Anatoly Aksakov, State Duma’s Head of the Committee on the Financial Market, was the one who suggested the postponement of the launch of the CBDC since the necessary legislative framework for its implementation was not ready yet.
Moreover, the reports noted that the bill’s passage was only in its first reading at the Russian Parliament Duma.
Russia’s Largest Private Banks Are Prepared For The Pilot Tests
Alfa Bank, one of Russia’s largest private banks, has announced that it is prepared to conduct its first transaction per the government’s plans. Additionally, Soyuz Bank, another prominent bank, also expressed its willingness to begin testing the central bank’s digital currency with its customers.
Vitaly Kopysov, Sinara Bank’s chair of Innovation, remarked that implementing smart contracts should enable “increased transparency” and could “lessen the operative burden on banks.” He also said it would help prevent the mishandling of bank funds and simplify the control of existing contracts.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Russia has revealed that the number of banks participating in the pilot project has diminished from 15 to 13. Only 13 banks have indicated their willingness to participate in the pilot test.
The digital ruble will bring a range of benefits to Russia, such as reducing the cost of financial transactions, increasing transparency, and reducing the risk of fraud. The CBR also aims to make accessing financial services and products easier for citizens and residents.
Through the digital ruble, Russia aims to take a step forward to become a significant player in the global digital currency market.
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