Deputy governor Alexei Zabotkin and first deputy governor Olga Skorobogatova of the central bank of Russia announced in a virtual press conference the intention of issuing a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) within 2023.
A prototype of the digital ruble will be created by the end of 2021 and will be tested during 2022. After that, it will be decided how the implementation will happen the following year.
“We plan to spend the whole 2022 on the testing stage, and only after obtaining the results of testing, we will understand which roadmap on the introduction of the targeted platform will be implemented and when.”Olga Skorobogatova said.
During the press conference was also discussed several particulars about the way the CBDC would function. The bank will attempt to restrain non-cash transactions. This way the passage to the central bank digital currency will be easier and will probably balance the scarcity of liquidity when the digital currency will be launched.
At this phase, the central bank of Russia is providing a hybrid structure of the digital ruble platform. This platform will include elements of the centralized system and the blockchain as well.
Skorobogatova declared that the central bank will make similar fees and rules for digital currency transactions. Anyway, these regulations will be set in the next phase of the project. She also added that 73% of the operations in Russia are made digitally, which is a major change from the cash-only form just a few years ago.
“A digital ruble functions as a third form of money. Why a third form? We have cash, we have non-cash, and a digital ruble will look like a token of the ruble, which incorporates the properties of cash and non-cash.”Olga Skorobogatova added.