Russian central bank to initiate digital ruble pilot

The central bank of Russia has revealed it is planning to begin a pilot test for a digital ruble with 12 of the country’s top banks.

The central bank claims it intends to finish the development of the first prototype of the digital ruble in December of this year, before beginning testing in January 2022.

According to the bank, testing will take place in various stages over several months. The aim of this is to publish a roadmap for possible implementation at the end of the tests.

Bank of Russia first deputy governor Olga Skorobogatova said, “A digital ruble project is aimed to create new payment infrastructure to improve the availability of payments and transfers and to reduce their cost for households and businesses.

“For the convenience of its use, we need to ensure a seamless migration between the forms of the ruble. This is why it is highly important for us to cooperate with market participants at all stages of the pilot project.

“To organise this cooperation, we have promptly formed the first pilot group of banks for them to have enough time to technically and technologically prepare their systems and processes for piloting.”

Earlier this year, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak told the Bank of England to look at the case for a potential ‘Britcoin’ or central-bank-backed digital currency.

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