The digital ruble should land as early as next April, according to Bank of Russia Vice President Olga Skorobogatova. The Russian Central Bank Digital Currency (MNBC) will initially be launched in a small-scale pilot phase, and is expected to be more widely rolled out during 2024.
The digital ruble will arrive in April
The Russian Central Bank Digital Currency (MNBC) project is progressing and seems set to meet the initially advanced schedule. The first vice-president of the Bank of Russia, Olga Skorobogatova, actually confirmed that the digital ruble will be launched in its pilot phase from next April :
“We plan to launch the pilot phase of the digital ruble project on April 1, with transactions between individuals and payments in commerce and service companies at first. I specify right away that the pilot will relate to real transactions, to real customers, but to a limited number of transactions and to a limited number of customers with 13 banks, which have already technically confirmed that they are ready. »
As the First Vice-President indicated, the pilot phase will initially only include that a panel of banks and customers previously selected to test the viability of the digital ruble before expanding its reach. According to the Tass news agency, the digital ruble should be available for exchange against foreign currencies during 2024.
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An MNBC carried by the war in Ukraine
First mentioned in October 2020 by the Bank of Russia, the digital ruble has gradually established itself as a leading alternative to the classic ruble, particularly in response to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and now more broadly in NATO.
Last September, Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market, also underlined the growing interest of an MNBC for Russia in the face of international sanctions against Moscow, and more particularly faced with the eviction of certain Russian banks from the SWIFT network (including Sberbank, the largest Russian bank).
The digital ruble would thus present 2 major advantages for Russia: to directly oppose the global hegemony of the American dollar on the international markets, and to considerably accelerate the speed of transactions carried out with the countries of which it is an ally. As such, Russia previously mooted the idea of using the digital ruble to trade with China.
At the same time, a gold-backed stablecoin project had also been mentioned by some Russian officials. Such a stablecoin would thus facilitate international trade, and Iran has already shown itself to be receptive to the idea.
👉 Read also – Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia, is launching into decentralized finance (DeFi)
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