On July 30, 2023, President Putin approved the digital ruble bill and planned to launch the CBDC. The central bank will pilot the program, enabling digital ruble transactions for consumers, specifically for payments and not for investment purposes.
Russia’s central bank is poised to commence real-world trials of its digital ruble and starting on August 15th. This significant advancement follows President Putin’s recent enactment of the digital ruble law in July. In collaboration with 13 banks and a carefully chosen group of clients, the pilot program will initially prioritize testing key features such as digital wallets, seamless transfers between individuals, QR code-based purchases of goods and services, and streamlined automated payments.
The central bank, known as the Bank of Russia, aims to ensure a smooth and user-friendly experience during this essential phase. By conducting these tests in an industrial environment and involving actual clients, they plan to refine operational procedures and guarantee a convenient pathway for users. The digital ruble holds strategic importance for Russia, offering a means to navigate financial restrictions resulting from international sanctions, particularly after Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict.
Anticipating future adoption, Olga Skorobogatova, the first deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, has announced that citizens and businesses will be able to request access to the central bank’s digital currency starting in 2025. As part of the initial trial, participants will use digital rubles for payments at 30 retail establishments across 11 Russian cities. This network will expand as the pilot progresses, encompassing a wider range of participants, including both individuals and companies.
In a recent report by Todayq News on August 9, 2023, the majority of Russian citizens lack confidence in the digital ruble, the central bank’s digital currency. The government’s aim to enhance the economy through the introduction of the digital ruble offers benefits such as facilitating cross-border payments amidst ongoing conflicts and tensions.