- On April 1, 2023, the Bank of Russia will launch the first consumer trial for the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).
- The impending CBDC pilot will explicitly incorporate real operational functions and legitimate consumers in Russia.
Olga Skorobogatova, the first deputy governor of the Russian Central Bank, told the media that the bank intends to start testing the CBDC on April 1st, 2023. Although the CBDC would strive for nationwide adoption, it will start with preliminary testing to encourage a dependable system.
According to the information available , the project using the digital ruble would initially begin on April 1 with individual transactions and payments made to businesses engaged in commerce and providing services.
It is crucial to remember that the pilot will involve actual transactions with actual clients, although for a small number of consumers and transactions with 13 institutions that have already formally verified their competence.
Given that Russia has long been subject to severe sanctions, expanding its presence in the blockchain industry is a crucial move for the country.
Unverified recent rumours claim that the central bank is moving more quickly to begin the cross-border CBDC testing. Cross-border CBDC studies were only supposed to take place in 2024, according to a previously disclosed schedule.
In light of the advancements in digital assets and the demands made on states, there were discussions last month about Russia and Iran looking into the formation of an unified stablecoin that would be underpinned by gold.
The consumer CBDC pilot, which was initially slated for 2024, was moved up because the Russian central bank was looking for a replacement for the SWIFT payments system due to Western economic sanctions on Russia.
13 banks in total passed all evaluations, both technical and operational. The regulator anticipates that on April 1 they will begin the pilot scheme with the clientele they have chosen.
Although the Russian CBDC would have applications at the retail level, in the initial phase it will be put to the test by banks and business interests. Smaller businesses could eventually take part in the testing process.