The Bank of Russia began CBDC testing in 2022. It expects to roll out an official banking rollout during the 2024 presidential election.
The Bank of Russia is working to the adoption of the central bank’s digital currency (CBDC) and plans an official rollout of digital rubles in the next few years.
According to the Bank of Russia’s most recent monetary policy update, the authority will start in 2024 to connect all credit institutions and banks to the digital ruble platform. Russia is likely to hold its presidential election in March 2024, and President Vladimir Putin will be reelected.
The central bank will then be able to conduct “real money” customer–to-customer transactions trials. It will also test customer-to–business and customer–to-customer settlements.
The Bank of Russia will also conduct beta testing of digital ruble smart contracts that allow trades to be made by a small group of participants in 2023.
The bank stated that the rollout of CBDC will be gradual and allow for new features and trials year after year. As soon as the Federal Treasury is ready, the digital ruble will also feature consumer-to-government, business-to-government, government-to-consumer and government-to-business payments, the Bank of Russia said.
The central bank expects to also introduce the offline mode of the digital ruble in 2025, along with integration of non-bank financial intermediaries and financial platforms.
The Bank of Russia stated that “the gradual introduction of the digital ruble will give market participants the opportunity to adjust to new conditions.”
According to the authority, the Bank of Russia will also collaborate with other central banks in developing digital currencies for cross-border and foreign currency operations using digital currencies.
Cointelegraph reported that Russia launched its first digital ruble tests in February 2022. This was following the official CBDC roadmap. To test the digital ruble, the Bank of Russia created a group of 12 banks, which included major banks like Sber, VTB and Tinkoff Bank.
Russia is lagging behind in its efforts to regulate the cryptocurrency industry, despite keeping pace with the CBDC rollout plans. Multiple times, President Putin called for the adoption crypto regulation before Russia adopted their crypto law “On Digital Financial Assets.” This didn’t change much since it still doesn’t have many regulatory aspects such as taxation or crypto mining.