At a virtual press conference on Thursday, senior leaders from Russia’s central bank revealed key details about their plans to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
His top aides Alexei Zabotkin and Olga Skorobogatova explained how a full launch could take place in 2023, according to the current timeline.
Today’s announcement is based on what was previously known by the Russian central bank’s plan to roll out the digital ruble. As The Block previously reported, the bank was planning to implement the digital ruble infrastructure by the end of 2021 and test digital ruble prototypes by 2022. Now, Russia’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) seems to be real in two years.
Some operational aspects of how a digital ruble will work were also discussed during the event.
For example, the central bank will try to block non-cash transactions to ensure a smoother transition to the digital ruble. Zabotkin said the tightening of non-cash transactions hopes to compensate for the liquidity shortage when the digital ruble comes to market.
CBDC will also have a two-tier system similar to China’s digital yuan, where the central bank distributes CBDC to third-party firms such as commercial banks and then distributes the CBDC to users.
Bank of Russia board member Olga Skorobogatova said at today’s conference that 73% of transactions in Russia have become digital.
“The digital ruble will function as a third form of money. Why a third form? We have cash, we have non-cash money, and a digital ruble will look like a token of the ruble, which includes cash and non-cash features. ”