Bank of Russia set to begin digital ruble pilot 

The Bank of Russia has revealed that it has enlisted 13 banks for the pilot testing of a digital ruble involving real-world transactions. 

The test is set to begin on August 15, with select clients from the participating banks trialing the scheme. 

Users are expected to test the opening of digital ruble accounts and money transfers to them, person-to-person transfers, bill payments, and QR code-based payments. 

Olga Skorobogatova, first deputy governor, Bank of Russia, says: “Based on the results of the stage-by-stage testing and provided that the pilot testing of all the scenarios of digital ruble transactions is completed successfully, we will start issuing the digital ruble for broad use. 

“We assume that, beginning from 2025, both individuals and businesses will be able to actively use the national digital currency, of course if they wish to.” 

More participants are expected to be added throughout the year, with QR code-based payments and business-to-business digital ruble transfers being tested as we head into 2024. 

However, despite the implementation of a pilot, the Russian public have not warmed to the idea, and there is apprehension amongst the general populous as to whether the test will be a success. 

According to a report from Kommersant, the Association of Russian Banks (ARB) sent a letter to the Bank of Russia asking for clarification on Moscow’s CBDC plans and warned that citizens are “wary” of the digital ruble.

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