Russia has revealed plans to start a pilot project for its digital rouble from April 2023. The announcement came from the country’s central bank on Wednesday. The bank also revealed that the project will be running ahead of its initial planned schedule. The pilot project will entail real customers and will also feature real customers.
Recently, Russia has been on the receiving end of various sanctions from the West after it invaded Ukraine. The country has also seen numerous global companies halt their products and services in the country.
Russia has been looking for alternative ways to ease payments and remittances. The country joined a host of others already on the move to issue a central bank digital currency. The country plans to have a digital version of its rouble ready for use by next year and has been making progress irrespective of its current situation.
The country has been in conflict with cryptocurrencies. While its apex bank believes that cryptocurrencies are a no-no and should be banned from use in Russia, the ministry of finance, President Vladimir Putin, and others think that cryptocurrencies could unlock new opportunities for the country. The central bank cited threats to financial stability, the country’s monetary policy sovereignty, and the well-being of citizens, among others as reasons why cryptocurrencies had to be banned.
President Vladimir Putin is of the opinion that Bitcoin mining could be beneficial to the country as Russia has distinctive characteristics that’ll help the country make gains from Bitcoin mining. “The Central Bank does not stand in our way of technological progress and makes the necessary efforts to implement the latest technology in this area. The expansion of this type of activity carries certain risks, and above all for the citizens of the country, given the large volatility and some other components of this topic,” he said.
Russia’s minister of industry and trade Denis Manturov, last week revealed the country’s plans to legalize cryptocurrency as a means of payment. Russia’s minister of industry of trade Denis Manturov while answering a question asking if he believed cryptocurrencies could become a legal means of payment in Russia said that “The question is, when this happens, how it will be regulated, now that the central bank and government are actively working on it,” adding that “But everyone tends to understand that … sooner or later this will be implemented, in some format or other.”