A pilot program of the digital ruble has been announced by the Bank of Russia with a dozen banks involved.
On Monday the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) officially announced they had launched a pilot program of their central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital ruble. The trials are comprised of a dozen different banks that volunteered to partake and filed the proper paperwork with the national bank. To be eligible, the banks had to prove they were technically and technologically ready to prep systems for testing.
Some of the banks included in the pilot program are VTB, Gazprombank, Alfa-Bank, and the nation’s largest, Sberbank.
The announcement also stated that the development of the prototype for a digital ruble platform will be done before the end of the year and begin testing in early 2022. Olga Skorobogatova, the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia, declared that the “digital ruble project is aimed to create new payment infrastructure to improve the availability of payments and transfers, and to reduce their cost for households and businesses.”
Skorobogatova went on to stress the importance of a seamless migration between traditional and digital currency. Part of the first stage of testing will be to monitor the emission of the digital ruble among other various operations. If all goes well, additional banks will be added to the pilot project down the line.
Russia joins other national banks in CBDC testing
Russia now joins a small but growing number of nations that are testing digital currencies or planning to test them in the near future. Both the Bank of France and the Swiss National Bank also announced recently that they will trial CBDC’s for the wholesale lending market. Three banks have been confirmed as part of the trial, Swiss bank USB, Credit Suisse, and French bank Natixis. On the crypto side of things, testing will be aided by SIX Digital Exchange, R3, and the Innovation Hub.
In May, the Bank of Korea announced its plans to test the functionality of a central bank digital currency of its own. The goal of the testing phase for South Korea is to “ensure a CBDC can serve settlement and remittance for the purchase of goods and services.” Testing is scheduled to begin in August 2021 and run until June the following year.
Other countries such as China and Sweden are testing CBDC while The Bahamas and Cambodia have already begun using digital currencies nationally. Disclaimer
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