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Russia’s CBDC Tests are Set to Start Next Month, Launch in 2025

The Russian Federation Council passed the bill to President Putin for the creation of the Russian Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Russia's CBDC tests will begin in August 2023.
Image credit: Shutterstock

MOSCOW – On July 19, The Russian Federation Council approved the bill to create the Russian CBDC, as reported by Bloomberg. The bill is now in the hands of President Putin to either approve or suspend. If the President approves the bill, Russia will start the pilot tests of its Digital Ruble as soon as next month.

CBDC Tests for Digital Ruble

The Central Bank of Russia will collaborate with 15 of the country’s top lenders for the pilot phase. These lenders will behave as facilitators of a digital wallet deployed on the Central Bank of Russia’s platform. Both individual and corporate users can use any of these 15 lenders to create a digital wallet and access the Digital Ruble. For now, the transaction of the Digital Ruble will be free for individual users, while a 0.3% tax payment will be redeemed from the corporate users during the CBDC tests.

If all goes well, the Digital Ruble will be launched for the general use of the public around 2025-2027, as the Central Bank of Russia’s First Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova recently revealed.

War on Ukraine Shapes Russia’s Take on Crypto

Since invading Ukraine in February 2022, Russia has been facing strict sanctions on all fronts. Especially after the US, China, and their allies cut ties with the Russian Banks, the Russian economy was isolated, causing the Ruble to decline more than 18% against the US dollar.

To find a way around the sanctions, Russia started to lean on Crypto for initial transactions. In time, the idea of a Digital Ruble appealed to some Russian Lawmakers as a way to ease cross-border payments.

Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council, Nikolay Zhuravlev, reflected this point of view during a debate at the Bank of Russia’s Financial Congress earlier this month where he stated:

“In the current environment, it is important to have independent payment instruments and financial information channels that can be used in our trade with foreign partners.”


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