- The digital ruble bill was passed by the lower and upper parliaments before the president signed it into law.
- Russia is following in the footsteps of its neighbour, China, which is way ahead with its digital Yuan project.
- The use of the digital ruble will be a voluntary choice for Russian citizens.
According to an official government document, President Vladimir Putin signed the bill establishing the digital ruble into law on July 24, advancing Russia’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) project
After the president’s signature, the digital ruble law is now officially set to go into effect on August 1, 2023, with all but one rule prepared for enforcement.
Russia’s State Duma — the country’s lower parliament house — passed the digital bill, which was originally registered in December 2022, in the third final reading on July 11. The bill was then passed by the Federation Council, or Senate, on July 19.
Russia’s first CBDC pilot schedule
The first CBDC pilot with actual consumers will officially be launched in August by the Russian central bank thanks to the new legislation. Previously, the government had planned to launch trials with 13 local banks, including powerhouses like Sberbank, in April.
The central bank of Russia will be in charge of overseeing all stored assets and will serve as the primary operator of the digital ruble infrastructure, per the recently signed law.
The digital ruble is not intended for investment; rather, it is intended to be used as a means of payment and money transfer. The digital ruble is intended to function as the third form of currency alongside cash and non-cash rubles.
On July 24, Elvira Nabiullina, the governor of the Bank of Russia, reportedly said that the use of the CBDC will not be mandated for Russian citizens and that it will be their choice whether to do so. She said:
“No one is going to force anyone into the digital ruble… But we really hope that it will be more convenient and cheaper for both people and businesses, and they will start using it. This is a new opportunity.”
According to the deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, Olga Skorobogatova, the government doesn’t anticipate mass adoption of the CBDC before 2025 or even 2027.