The digital ruble pilot program begins on August 1, and its application will be entirely optional.
The world’s largest country by area is ready to launch a digital currency next week after Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the initiative on Thursday.
- The bill’s text amends Russia’s Civil Code to allow the digital ruble to be used for payments, while authorizing Russia’s central bank to allow real citizens to use the currency beginning August 1.
- Instead of commercial banks, the central bank will handle account management for the digital ruble.
- In a statement released by Russian media, central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina highlighted that the usage of the money is entirely optional.
- We sincerely hope that both people and businesses will find it more useful and affordable and that they will begin to use it. “This is a brand-new opportunity.”
- The Russian government started its investigation into the digital ruble in October 2020, and the system was piloted with Russian banks in February 2022.
- The new law allowing the use of the currency by private individuals was passed by the State Duma two weeks ago.
- The currency will be programmable to impose certain transaction thresholds and limitations on what users of the currency can buy.
- Critical politicians in each country have criticized the idea for just this trait, despite the fact that Western nations like the United States and Canada are only just beginning to explore CBDCs.
- In March, Florida Governor Ron De Santis described CBDCs as a tool for “surveilling Americans, and controlling behaviour of Americans.”
- Putin and the Russian parliament, in contrast, have already outlawed the use of private cryptocurrencies for domestic payments and have only authorized their use for international trade.