The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has begun a public consultation on the launch of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) that would allow citizens to use “mobile devices and other media” to make payments using a digital ruble.
The Digital Ruble: Public Consultation Report lays out possible options and ways to implement a digital ruble, the functional requirements of introducing a CBDC and its potential impact on the financial sector and economy in general.
“The digital ruble is a digital form of the Russian national currency, which the Bank of Russia will issue in addition to existing forms of money (cash and non-cash rubles),” CBR says.
“Citizens will have the opportunity to credit digital rubles to their electronic wallets and use them using mobile devices and other media, both online and in the absence of access to the internet (that is, offline).
“Citizens and enterprises, based on their needs, will be able to freely transfer money from one form to another — that is, from a digital ruble to cash or to a bank account and vice versa.
“At the same time, it is necessary to develop special technologies that will make it possible to use the digital ruble in offline mode. Then the digital ruble will be able to combine the advantages of both cash and non-cash money.”
Commenting on the report in an article for Econs, the CBR’s deputy chairman, Alexey Zabotkin, describes the question of whether the bank should issue a digital ruble as “more and more urgent” owing to the “growing demand for remote services and non-cash payments” in Russia.