The Central Bank of Russia wants to go ahead with its ambitious digital ruble project without any delay. But all invited banks have not shown interest to participate.
Olga Skorobogatova, the First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, highlighted that the digital ruble is very much needed. He said they will not delay upcoming tests of the prototype currency platform. The high-ranking official pointed out that they can implement it in the coming years, that is if they move quickly with the testing and legislative changes.
The Central Bank of Russia initiated trials with the digital ruble in January. It announced the first successful transactions between individual wallets in mid-February. It should be noted that about 12 or more Russian financial institutions are participating in the experiments.
Skorobogatova revealed that not all participating banks are ready to join the tests. She stressed that this will not affect the timing of the project to issue the Russian central bank digital currency (CBDC). The trials will continue throughout 2022 with the second phase of trials scheduled to begin in the fall.
The Central Bank also intends to launch operations involving payment for goods and services with the CBDC as well as government transfers. It will issue smart contracts in collaboration with the Federal Treasury. The Central Bank believes the CBDC will create new opportunities for Russians, businesses, and the state as a whole. Furthermore, the digital ruble will help reduce Russia’s dependence on the US dollar.