The Bank of Russia included the launch of a ruble-backed digital currency in its “Strategy of Financial Markets Development Until 2030,” which outlines the central bank’s main plans for the next decade.
“One of the key projects in digitalization until 2030 will be the launch of the digital ruble, which is the third form of money issued and guaranteed by the Bank of Russia,” the Strategy, which was published in the Russian government’s portal on Monday, reads. “The launch of the digital ruble will help to further develop the payment infrastructure, stimulate competition and procure innovative financial instruments, as well as make financial services cheaper and more easily available to individuals and businesses.”
The bank has been contemplating issuance of its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) since last October, when it published its first analytical report outlining potential designs for a CBDC. In April, the bank updated the concept based on feedback from Russian banks and other financial markets participants in the country.
The bank was reportedly delaying a decision on launching a digital ruble until after it had tested a prototype, but the ruble’s mention in the Strategy document indicates that the institution is committed to setting a digital currency into motion.
Bank of Russia will start testing the digital ruble in January, the bank’s deputy chairwoman, Olga Skorobogatova, told CoinDesk via a spokesperson. “We’re actively developing the platform at the moment,” Skorobogatova said. “We don’t see any obstacles for launching the digital ruble; however, we will test it in pilot first.”
The pilot will have several phases and help determine a road map for the digital ruble’s launch, and amendments to current regulations, she added.
Skorobogatova called the digital ruble “one of the key projects for the Bank of Russia.”
“That’s why we included it in the Strategy,” she added.
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