Bank of Russia Announces Plans to Launch a Beta CBDC Before the End of 2021


According to Prime News, the Bank of Russia has announced that it is working on launching a prototype of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) and start piloting as early as the end of 2021. The new information got disseminated by Alexey Zabotkin, the Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, in an online event hosted by the Russian Economic School.

The prototype will give the public access to test the digital ruble, although real-time transactions will be restricted, for now.

Zabotkin noted that:

“Next year, based on this prototype, we will consider further developments and thereafter launch testing rounds.”

The Russian central bank first publicized its interests in pushing for a digital ruble in October last year. At the time, the official consultation paper described the digital ruble as an “additional form of money alongside cash and non-cash.”

Association of Russian Financial Institutions Raise Concerns About the CBDC Model
The national project faced some headwinds in January 2021 when the association of Russian banks and fintech companies highlighted the flaws in the proposed blockchain-based fiat model and raised issues about the likelihood of the cryptocurrencies getting used by fraudsters.

Nonetheless, 83 percent of the respondents on the consultation paper asserted that they were solidly behind the central bank’s plan to launch a CBDC.

Olga Skorobogatova, the Bank of Russia’s first Deputy Governor, noted sometime last month that the financial institution planned on proceeding with its proposed model to develop a digital ruble.

Meanwhile, major lenders of the country are getting ready to launch digital currencies as well. Sberbank, Russia’s largest state-owned bank, is trying to court approval for the launch of its blockchain-based platform, which will aid the bank to launch a digital currency.


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Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.