- A report on a digital ruble has been released by The Bank of Russia
- The report states that a CBDC would work alongside the existing cash system
- The Bank of Russia puts no timeline on the development of a digital ruble
The rise of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) seemingly knows no bounds. This week the Bank of Russia added its name to the growing list of countries discussing a digital ruble, producing a lengthy report that looks at the benefits, drawbacks, and implementation considerations of a CBDC. The report is clearly nothing more than a preliminary discussion opener, and as such no timeline is laid out, although it would not be surprising if this report kickstarts a speedy development process of the digital ruble in the country.
Digital Ruble Would Take Best Bits From Existing Systems
In the report published Tuesday, the Bank of Russia stated that it was “exploring the possibilities of issuing the central bank digital currency (CBDC) – the digital ruble”, citing the technological developments that have led to, “The emergence of new financial opportunities for citizens and businesses that meet the needs of the digital world.”
The bank says that a digital ruble “combines the properties of cash and non-cash rubles” and would act as an “additional” form of currency for Russians. It adds that a digital ruble would combine the best bits of the existing payment methods – it would be fast and remotely accessible like online payments, but would also be able to be used offline like cash.
No Timeline on Development
A digital ruble would “perform all three functions of money: a means of payment, a measure of value, and a store of value” says the Bank of Russia report, adding that such innovations in this field will reduce the cost and friction of transactions, spur innovation in “retail payments and beyond”, and will “increase the stability of the country’s financial system.”
With regard to a timescale, the Bank of Russia states that it has “not yet decided to issue a digital ruble.” Instead, they say that the report aims purely to inform on the matter and start a discussion on the possibility of a Russian CBDC, meaning that, unlike the likes of China, Japan, and Korea, a Russian CBDC could be years away.