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Head of Central Bank of Russia: digital ruble possible by late 2021

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Illustration of St. Petersburgh in Russia

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Calling the prospects of introducing a CBDC in Russia “very real,” head of the Central Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina said on Friday, a pilot launch of the Russian CBDC, or the digital ruble, “is possible” at the end of 2021. The news follows a recent opinion of an official from the Russian Central Bank’s National Banking Council, who hailed the digital ruble, as the “future” of all money circulation in the country. 

Central Bank of Russia planned to stage piloting of the digital ruble with a limited number of users “in order for everything to be worked out.” According to Nabiullina, this process would allow the Bank to understand the actual workings of the digital ruble and who then said: 

We [the Central Bank of Russia] consider this kind of piloting [the digital ruble] possible somewhere by the end of next year. 

During an online conference, Nabiullina said the Bank would collect feedback on the CBDC’s development by the end of this year, and would then decide the “feasibility of launching the digital ruble.” Moreover, answering the question, about how real was the launch of the digital ruble in the near future, Nabiullina said: 

It [launch of digital ruble] is quite real.

Nabiullina brought forward certain conditions for the introduction of the digital ruble and said that there would be no anonymity like that of cash. In fact, Russian Central Bank planned to maintain a register of digital currencies and whether a regulator would be assigned to see the transactions will largely depend on the nature of the digital ruble functioning model.

However, the head said that “confidentiality would be strengthened” and that the digital ruble “should be provided with maximum confidence” was the “main task” in introducing the digital ruble. 

The head of the Central Bank further stressed the digital ruble would not replace cash ruble and instead would be a “third form of money.” She believed this would allow people and businesses in Russia to choose for themselves with regard to “the type of ruble” “most convenient” for them to use. She further noted that the digital ruble would fit “very organically” into Russia’s transformation into a digital economy and stressed the importance of the  “transformation of the settlement system” as well. 


Alisha is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. Her interests lie in blockchain technology, crypto-crimes, and market developments in Africa and the United States
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