Russian CBDC could launch in 2025, with possible assistance from banks.

Russian CBDC could launch in 2025, with possible assistance from banks.

Russia’s CBDC: A Step Towards Financial Independence

Source: harvepino/Adobe

Russian experts believe that the Central Bank of Russia is set to launch its digital ruble, a central bank digital currency (CBDC), by 2025. This move comes as the nation’s largest banks express their eagerness to collaborate with the central bank in implementing the CBDC. The Central Bank is expediting its CBDC rollout, although it has been reported that citizens will not have access to it before 2025. However, there are speculations that Moscow might aim to bring forward this deadline.

One of the driving forces behind Russia’s push for a CBDC is the impact of US and EU-led sanctions, which have restricted Moscow’s ability to trade in US dollars. This situation has prompted the Central Bank to accelerate its efforts in launching a CBDC, as it seeks to reduce its dependence on the dollar and diversify its trade options. While the Central Bank has stated that cross-border CBDCs are still a distant reality, discussions have taken place regarding a BRICS stablecoin and a gold-backed token that could be used in trade with Iran. Furthermore, Russian and Iranian crypto leaders have intensified their cooperation efforts in recent months. It is expected that state-backed stablecoin plans will be revisited at the next BRICS summit, scheduled to be held in Sandton, Johannesburg, from August 22 to 24.

BRICS heads of state at a meeting in 2019. (Source: Alan Santos/PR [CC BY 2.0])

Russia’s CBDC in 2025: Banks Eager for Progress

Unlike Beijing, Moscow has consistently expressed its interest in utilizing its CBDC for cross-border payments with “friendly countries.” Russian banks have shown a strong willingness to participate in this initiative. DOM.RF Bank has stated that it is “technically ready to launch the project as soon as the command to start is given.” Similarly, Rosbank has expressed its readiness to participate in a pilot project with real clients, while Alfa-Bank is excited about the prospects of the digital ruble project. VTB, another Russian megabank, has already selected a limited circle of clients and employees to test the prototype coin, forming a focus group for this purpose. Other rival banks such as Promsvyazbank, Sinara, Delobank, TKB, and MTS Bank have also made similar statements, indicating their active involvement in the CBDC project. TKB has even hinted that the real-world pilot launch could take place within days, with tests scheduled for the end of July.

Last week, the Russian Prosecutor-General Igor Krasnov visited his Chinese counterpart, where he emphasized the importance of streamlining the legal systems related to their respective CBDCs. This collaboration aims to prevent criminals from exploiting CBDCs. Krasnov praised China for being at the forefront of CBDC implementation, stating that it was one of the first nations to introduce a CBDC in order to protect its economy from the criminal influence of cryptocurrencies.

In conclusion, Russia’s CBDC, the digital ruble, is expected to be launched by 2025. Russian banks have shown a strong interest in collaborating with the Central Bank to ensure the success of this initiative. By introducing a CBDC, Russia aims to reduce its reliance on the US dollar and explore new trade opportunities. The upcoming BRICS summit could provide a platform to discuss state-backed stablecoin plans further. As the world progresses towards a digital future, Russia is taking steps towards financial independence through the adoption of blockchain technology and the implementation of its CBDC.

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