Russia changes digital ruble laws while central bank ponders prototype for 2022

On Tuesday, Elvira Nabiullina, the governor of Russia’s central bank, said the country will have a prototype of its digital ruble platform ready by early 2022 and test it out next year. before a final decision is made on whether or not to launch its own digital currency, according to a Reuters report.

In the meantime, Russian lawmakers will begin work on the legal adjustments needed to implement the digital ruble’s digital currency adjustment plan. According to Izvestia, the head of the State Duma’s financial markets committee, Anatoly Aksakov, stated that these legal changes would begin as soon as a digital currency test (CBDC) is introduced by the central bank.

At least eight federal laws and five laws, including the Civil Code, the Tax Code, the Financial Regulation, the Criminal Code and the Administrative Code, must be amended for the digital ruble to take effect. The new rules will address various issues such as the power of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) to establish the circulation of the new currency, its acceptance as a means of payment, etc., the report said.

Russia changes digital ruble laws while central bank ponders prototype for 2022
Russia changes digital ruble laws while central bank ponders prototype for 2022

According to the report, the experiment will be carried out in several stages. In the first phase, the CBR will provide digital currency. The size of the pilot project network will increase, starting with 12 banks.

The CBR created a group of financial firms to analyze their CBDC, according to previous reports. However, according to recent reports, the scope of the banking system will continue to expand.

Participating banks include Russia’s leading state-backed banks such as Sberbank and VTB, as well as powerful private banks such as Tinkoff Bank. Bank of Moscow, Transneftbank, Gazprombank, Promsvyazbank, Rosbank, Ak Bars Bank, Dom.RF, SKB-Bank, TKB and Soyuz Bank are among the banks that have signed up for the digital ruble pilot program.

The Bank of Russia announced its CBDC strategy in late 2020. In January, the Association of Banks of Russia criticized the project, stating that each of the models proposed by the Bank of Russia could involve various cybersecurity and fraud risks.

In response to the increasing use of Bitcoin (BTC) and the decline in the use of cash, several central banks around the world have been investigating the possibility of issuing CBDCs. These include the European Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China.

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