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Russia Sets the Stage for a Digital Ruble Takeover

The Bank of Russia will debut its much-awaited digital ruble on April 1! Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia, announced that thirteen banks have signed up to hop on the digital currency train. 

Skorobogatova has announced the launch of their much-anticipated Digital Ruble project on April 1, enabling individuals to transfer funds and make payments to trade and service enterprises. Rumors have recently been circulating about the Central Bank’s intention to fast-track its cross-border CBDC trials, which were only meant to launch in 2024. It looks like the Central Bank is eager to get the Digital Ruble ship into full steam ahead!

Despite the initially planned 2021 launch of the digital ruble pilot project, it has caused a stir among Russian banking circles, raising concern that the infrastructure set-up could be a strain for banks and lead to a more centralized and less diverse banking system. The Bank of Russia responded to these worries with a promise to make sure the idea does not conflict with the existing system.


Central Bank Taking Responsibility!

The legislation for giving the Central Bank authority over CBDC issuance was submitted to the State Duma at the end of 2022 and added to the agenda in mid-January; handing the bank a hefty responsibility for issuing the currency and regulating participants’ fees and remuneration.

The Bank of Russia has announced the creation of a new Department for the Organization of International Settlements. This initiative is aimed at establishing correspondent banking relationships with friendly countries, as well as exploring opportunities for settlements in national currencies and cross-border transactions. According to reports, the focus appears to be on sanctions-related activities.