An official from the Central Bank of the Russian Federation announced that the institution plans to develop a prototype of a digital ruble and test it by the end of 2022.

Russian news outlet Prime reported on March 10 that Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Alexei Zabotkin announced at a meeting organized by local economics university Rossiyskaya Ekonomicheskaya Shkola that the Bank of Russia is working on its central bank digital currency (CBDC). He said:

By the end of the year, hopefully, we will be able to present a prototype of the digital ruble platform — [...] but it won’t allow us to process real transactions yet.

Zabotkin added that the central bank expects to start testing its digital currency in 2022. The news comes after the head of the RF State Duma Committee on the Financial Market Anatoly Aksakov hinted in October 2020 that this development was coming. At the time, he told the audience of the Blockchain Life conference that  “a digital ruble will start being tested, possibly even in the next year.”

Elvira Nabiullina, head of the Central Bank of Russia, also disclosed last month that the bank was starting to discuss the details of the digital ruble, according to Interfax. Nabiullina explained that the CBDC requires Russian regulation to be changed before it can be deployed. Aksakovalso elaborated on this problem in early February, according to a report by Russian news outlet Izvestia.

Aksakov explained that regulators need to introduce a legal definition of digital currency as a new form of money and amend numerous pieces of legislation, including the civil code and rules regarding crypto assets and payments systems. He added out that the technical pilot tests should precede any changes to the regulation.

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