Russia to change laws for digital ruble while central bank mulls 2022 prototype

Russian lawmakers will reportedly begin working on the legal adjustments needed to implement the digital ruble plan scheduled for early 2022.

On Tuesday, the governor of Russia’s Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, said that the country will have a prototype of its digital rouble platform ready by early 2022 and will roll it out for trial use next year before making a final decision on whether or not to release its own digital currency, according to a Reuters report.

Meanwhile, Russian lawmakers will reportedly begin working on the legal adjustments needed to implement the digital ruble plan to accommodate the digital currency. According to Izvestia, the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market head Anatoly Aksakov stated that these legal modifications would begin as soon as a central bank digital currency trial is implemented.

At least eight federal laws and five codes, including the Civil Code, Tax Code, Budgetary Code, Criminal Code, and Administrative Code, must be changed for the digital ruble to take effect. The new rules will address several themes, such as the Bank of Russia’s authority to establish circulation for the new currency, its acceptance as a means of payment, and so on, the report noted.

The trial will be conducted in several stages as per the report. During the first stage, the CBR will provide digital currency. The size of the pilot project’s network will scale up, starting with twelve banks.

The CBR established a group of financial firms to examine its central bank digital currency, according to previous reports. However, according to recent reports, the banking system’s reach will be extended even further.

Participating banks include Russia’s major banks, such as state-backed Sberbank and VTB, as well as powerful private banks like Tinkoff Bank. The Bank of Moscow, Transneftbank, Gazprombank, Promsvyazbank, Rosbank, Ak Bars Bank, Dom.RF, SKB-Bank, TKB and Soyuz bank are among banks that have signed up for digital rouble’s pilot program.

The Bank of Russia announced its CBDC strategy in late 2020. In January, the Association of Russian Banks criticized the project, stating that any of the Bank of Russia’s proposed models might entail several cybersecurity and fraud risks.

In response to the growing use of Bitcoin (BTC) and declining usage of cash, several central banks throughout the world have been researching the possibility of issuing CBDCs. These include the European Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China, among others.

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