Recently, India’s Reserve Bank (RBI) has been advancing its plans for a digital Rupee and engaging with 18 countries to explore cross-border transactions using a central bank digital currency (CBDC). RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das emphasizes the potential of CBDCs to enhance cross-border transactions and save U.S. Dollar reserves.
On July 12, Russia’s central bank, the Bank of Russia (BoR), moved closer to implementing its central bank digital currency (CBDC) project, known as the digital ruble. The State Duma, the lower chamber of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, passed the digital ruble bill in its third reading on July 11. The legislation will now move to the Federation Council, the assembly’s upper chamber, and ultimately to the president for approval.
The bill, last amended in June, establishes legal definitions for key terms such as “platform,” “participants,” and “users” and provides general guidelines for the CBDC ecosystem. Under the current framework, the Bank of Russia will be the primary operator of the digital ruble infrastructure and will assume responsibility for safeguarding all stored assets.
The primary purpose of the digital ruble, as stated by the Bank of Russia, is to facilitate payments and transfers. However, individuals will not be able to open savings accounts using the CBDC. The Bank of Russia emphasizes that payments and transfers will be free for individual customers, while corporate clients will incur a fee of 0.3%.
In a recent interview, Olga Skorobogatova, the deputy chairman of the central bank, announced plans to roll out the digital ruble to all Russian citizens by 2027. A pilot program will be conducted between 2023 and 2024 to test the CBDC’s functionality and effectiveness.
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) predicts that around 15 retail central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) will be in use globally. Nine central banks plan to issue wholesale CBDCs for financial markets. 93% of surveyed central banks are working on CBDCs. Major jurisdictions like India, the UK, and the EU are exploring digital fiat currencies. CBDCs are expected to complement existing payment methods. The BIS sees CBDCs as necessary for the future of finance.