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Russia’s Regions Claim CBDC Will Combat Corruption

Russian regions are embracing the digital ruble to enhance transparency, combat corruption, and reduce the shadow economy, with successful pilot transactions underway.

Key Points

  • Russian regions see potential in digital ruble to fight corruption and shadow economy.
  • Officials in Siberia and Kamchatka eager to adopt digital ruble for transparent transactions.
  • Digital ruble’s traceability and offline wallet feature touted for reducing corruption risks.
  • Russia’s digital ruble pilot program launched; other allies like Kazakhstan and Belarus also developing CBDCs.

Officials in Russian regions believe that the digital ruble, the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), can significantly contribute to the fight against corruption by eliminating the shadow economy.

According to Dela, an economy-focused newspaper covering the Krasnoyarsk Krai region, officials in Siberia are eager to adopt the digital ruble for their business transactions.

About the Digital Rule

Yegor Vasiliev, Chairman of the Committee on Economics and Tax Policy of the Krasnoyarsk Krai Legislative Assembly, stated that the introduction of the digital ruble would have a direct impact on the region’s economy.

He emphasized the transparency and immutability of transactions with the digital ruble, preventing any secret illegal activities.

“Each transaction with the digital ruble is transparent, easy to understand, and immutably recorded, once and for all. No illegal transactions with the digital ruble can be carried out secretly.” – Yegor Vasiliev, Chairman of the Committee on Economics and Tax Policy of the Krasnoyarsk Krai Legislative Assembly.

This move is expected to make a significant contribution to reducing corruption risks and the prevalence of the gray and shadow economy in the region.

Vasiliev further argued that a key advantage of the digital ruble is its traceability, allowing the token’s path to be traced from the day of issuance and from owner to owner.

Similarly, in the Kamchatka region in the Russian Far East, Olga Khlabystina, Head of the Payment Systems and Settlements Department of the Central Bank’s Kamchatka Branch, highlighted the potential benefits of the digital ruble for residents of remote and hard-to-reach areas.

She mentioned the use of special offline wallets that can be topped up in advance to enable digital ruble transactions even in areas without internet access.

Russia and the Digital Ruble: CBDC Progressing Fast?

The digital ruble pilot program was launched in Russia earlier this week, with banks including VTB, Qiwi, and Alfa successfully conducting real-world digital ruble transactions using the CBDC.

Moscow is determined to expedite the launch of its digital ruble, and other traditional Russian allies such as Kazakhstan and Belarus are also planning to accelerate the development of their own CBDCs.

The Russian Central Bank has expressed interest in the cross-border potential of the digital ruble. Experts believe that having a digital fiat currency will help Russian traders bypass economic sanctions imposed on the country.