Increasing their support for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), the Russian regions have counted on several benefits of adoption. Some of the regions have opined that the digital Ruble adoption will help in fighting corruption.
According to local media reports, Russian regions believe that the CBDC will help them fight corruption by “eliminating the shadow economy.” Additionally, the report stated that the officials in Siberia are keen to use the coin to conduct their business.
Talking to media, Yegor Vasiliev, the Chairman of the Committee on Economics and Tax Policy of the Krasnoyarsk Krai Legislative Assembly, said that a digital Ruble rollout would “affect the economy of the region.” Vasiliev said:
Each transaction with the digital Ruble is transparent, easy to understand, and immutably recorded, once and for all. No illegal transactions with the digital Ruble can be carried out secretly.
The politician said this would help fight corruption, which has blighted Russian local government operations for decades. Further, the chairman said that the chances of risks of the shadow economy are also reduced in the CBDC and thus budgetary operation could be executed via this. He said:
[With the CBDC], corruption risks, and the risks of the gray, shadow economy are significantly reduced. Therefore, in the future, part of [our] budgetary operations will be carried out exclusively using the digital Ruble.
Vasiliev also claimed that a “key advantage” of the digital Ruble was that it was possible to “trace” a token’s path “from the day of its issue” and “from owner to owner.”
Simultaneously, in Kamchatka, the peninsular region in the Russian Far East, media reports quoted Olga Khlabystina, Head of the Payment Systems and Settlements Department of the Central Bank’s Kamchatka Branch, counting on the bright future of digital Ruble. The executive explained the use case of digital Ruble in a case with no internet via offline wallets etc. As stated in the reports:
In the future, the digital Ruble will be used where there is no internet, using special offline wallets that can be topped up in advance. This, in particular, will be especially [beneficial] for residents of remote and hard-to-reach areas of Kamchatka.
Notably, Russia recently its CBDC journey with the pilot of the digital Ruble earlier this week. As reported by Todayq News, banks including VTB, Qiwi, and Alfa reported on August 16 that their employees had successfully carried out “real-world” digital ruble transactions using the CBDC.
While Russia is looking to expiate the launch of its coin, traditional Russian allies such as Kazakhstan and Belarus have also indicated that they will speed up the launch of their own tokens. Notably, the Russian Central Bank has spoken about the possible “cross-border” potential of its CBDC, and experts think that a digital fiat will help traders in the nation sidestep sanctions.
However, it is worth noting that while the Russian authorities are shining over the benefits of CBDC adoption, several lawmakers across the globe have highlighted the harms of it. The features on which the Russian government is relying to get rid of corruption are the same which the US lawmaker call a threat to privacy.
It is nothing new that that the talks of CBDC have often been accompanied the concerns of privacy especially in the US lawmaker and European bench. However, it shows the complete contradiction with which the authorities are perceiving CBDC.
Nonetheless, CBDCs have become an imminent concept for nations across the globe with the increasing adoption. Additionally, an increasing number of global agencies are also adopting CBDC to facilitate cross-border transactions and other such benefits.