Russian Parliament Approves Digital Ruble Bill

July 12, 2023

Russian Parliament Approves Digital Ruble Bill

The Russian central bank’s (CBDC) attempt to create a digital ruble has made progress. The State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, adopted the third reading of the bill establishing the digital ruble on July 11. The plan will now be considered by the Federation Council, the assembly’s upper house, and then, if accepted, delivered to the president’s desk. The measure will now move on to the upper chamber of the Russian Federal Assembly and, if approved, the president’s desk.

As things stand, the Bank of Russia (BoR), Russia’s central bank, will be in charge of running the digital ruble infrastructure. It is also in charge of all the assets that are kept in storage.

According to the BoR, the CBDC’s primary function is to act as a means of payment and transfer. As a result, its consumers won’t be able to start saving money. Payments and transfers would be free for ordinary users and would cost corporate clients 0.3% of the payment amount, as the BoR highlights.

The law was presented to the State Duma in December 2022, and in March 2023, it was approved after its first reading. A division of Gazprombank, the largest government-owned gas firm in Russia, issued a warning in February about potential risks for banks in the event of a quick switch to digital currency. The McKinsey branch in Russia calculated that traditional banks could lose about 250 billion rubles ($3.5 billion) over the course of five years as a result of the adoption of the CBDC. The consultancy group also predicted that shops will make $1.1 billion in profit annually.

The mass adoption of the digital ruble for all Russian residents by 2027 was revealed by Olga Skorobogatova, the deputy chairman of the central bank, in a recent interview. A pilot initiative will test the CBDC between 2023 and 2024.

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