As China is actively testing its digital yuan, Russia is now considering creating and testing a central bank digital currency, the digital ruble. Meanwhile, the Bank of Russia has offered to limit the amount of bitcoin retail investors can buy.
Russian central bank eyes digital ruble
Russia’s central bank has announced its intention to conduct an experiment using the digital ruble with a limited number of participants after public consultations, the publication Izvestia reported last week. The Bank of Russia announced the development of the digital ruble and public consultations on its issue on October 13. Public comments on the digital ruble issue are accepted until December 31.
Five Russian banks have already expressed interest in participating in the central bank’s digital currency pilot project (CBDC): Credit Bank of Moscow, Promsvyazbank, Bank Zenit, Dom.RF and Russian National Commercial Bank. The State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, expects the digital ruble experience to begin in the first half of 2021.
The ruble digital wallet can be used to pay for goods and services in stores where payment terminals will be configured to accept it. The central bank says that if the digital ruble is adopted, Russians might be able to receive salaries and benefits, the publication noted. After public consultations, if it is decided that a digital ruble will be created, the Bank of Russia will build for it a platform that will be part of the country’s payment infrastructure. The central bank reportedly said:
Citizens and businesses will be able to buy digital rubles by exchanging them for cash or funds stored in their bank accounts. The possibility of receiving salaries, benefits or other payments in digital rubles is also being considered.
Russia’s Finance Ministry independently told the publication this week about the possible pros and cons of the digital ruble. “His benefits in the finance department include a reduction in transaction costs and the volume of load on banks, an increase in cross-border payments, as well as a decrease in dollar dependence and exposure to sanctions,” said indicated the media. Russia has been pursuing a constant policy of reducing its dependence on the dollar for several years.
The Russian government started exploring cryptoruble in 2017. There was even a bill to make crypto-legal currency in Russia. However, the discussion stalled over time, with the central bank opposing the concept.
Proposed Bitcoin Purchase Limit
Meanwhile, the Bank of Russia has proposed limiting the amount of cryptocurrency that unqualified investors can buy each year to 600,000 rubles ($ 7,734). The central bank’s proposal reads as follows:
A limit is set for the purchase by an individual and unqualified investor of digital financial assets totaling 600,000 rubles in one year.
The restriction, if passed, is expected to come into effect when the Digital Financial Assets Act goes into effect on January 1 of next year. Public comments on the proposed restriction can be submitted until October 27.
What do you think of the Russian digital ruble? Let us know in the comments section below.
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