As Russia is currently at a crucial point as it faces changes in the global economy. To keep up with the trend of digital currencies, Russia is planning to introduce a digital version of its currency called the digital ruble. However, this comes at a time when Russia is facing isolation from the international community due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The Russian Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, will soon discuss a law to approve the digital ruble. If the law passes and President Vladimir Putin gives his approval, the Bank of Russia could start testing the digital ruble as early as next month. On July 11, 2023, the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, passed the digital ruble bill, in its third reading.
The Bank of Russia intends to partner with 15 domestic banks to pilot the project. This means that individuals and businesses can create a digital wallet on the central bank’s platform, which can be accessed through any Russian bank. Individuals can make transactions with the digital ruble without any charges, but companies will have to pay a small fee of 0.3%, as per the bank’s guidelines.
The introduction of the digital ruble comes as a response to the extensive sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and its allies because of the invasion of Ukraine in 2022. These sanctions have cut off Russian banks from the global financial system, leading to stricter regulations on payments from foreign banks.
Russia has been trying to enhance its trade relationships with countries like China and India to counter the effects of the sanctions by pivoting towards trading in national currencies. According to, Nikolay Zhuravlev, deputy chairman of the Federation Council, the digital ruble could potentially ease cross-border payments and provide independent financial tools for Russia.
However, there are doubts about the digital ruble’s immediate potential for international transactions, as it would need to be integrated with other nations’ currency platforms. The ruble has also faced significant economic pressures, with a decline of 18% against the dollar this year, according to Bloomberg.