Russia’s State Duma – the lower chamber of the local parliament – passed the digital ruble bill. The legislation defines rules surrounding the nation’s upcoming central bank digital currency, outlining the Bank of Russia as “the operator” of the project.
The institution will also establish a range of users of the digital ruble platform, adjust their type of transactions, and set specific thresholds by the end of 2024.
A Few More Steps Before Becoming Official
State Duma announced the adoption of a law on the release of a CBDC and on “the implementation of cashless payments using this form of national currency.” According to the bill, the project will consist of a “digital ruble platform,” “digital ruble platform rules,” “digital ruble platform participants,” “digital ruble platform users,” and “digital accounts (wallets).”
The legislation (if officially accepted) will prohibit consumers from using the CBDC in deposits. “In the event of the bankruptcy of the debtor, digital rubles will be part of the bankruptcy estate,” the parliament’s lower chamber explained.
Unsurprisingly, the central bank will play a main role in the project, overseeing the whole process and ensuring the platform works properly. The institution will also be responsible for the safety of the financial product and the correct accounting of information on such transactions.
The legislation will now move to the upper chamber of the Russian parliament – the Federation Council. The last step is a signature from President Vladimir Putin.
CBDC Could be Used for International Payments
The launch of a CBDC has been one of the central bank’s missions in the past few years. Elvira Nabiullina – Governor of the Bank of Russia – described the digital ruble as a top priority for the institution, raising hopes that it could be employed in international settlements.
“The digital ruble is among the priority projects. We have fairly quickly created a prototype … now we are holding tests with banks, and next year, we will gradually have pilot transactions,” Nabiullina stated.
One of the wealthiest Russians – Vladimir Potanin – is also in favor of the digital ruble. He views Bitcoin and the alternative coins as risky, “unreliable products” that the watchdogs can not monitor. As such, CBDCs (controlled by the authorities) could be the appropriate financial solution to stimulate Russia’s economy, he argued.