The Russian central bank does not seem averse to the introduction of the digital ruble. At a recent press conference, the bank’s head spoke on the subject. Accordingly, the introduction of the digital currency could take place as early as 2021.
On October 23, 2020, the head of the Russian Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, spoke during an online conferenceon the prospects of introducing the digital ruble. In their eyes, a pilot start by the end of 2021 is quite conceivable.
By the end of this year, public feedback on the introduction of the digital ruble will be obtained in order to create a comprehensive concept. On the basis of this, a test phase with a limited number of users is planned in order to ensure a better understanding of the digital currency.
Is confidentiality guaranteed?
Meanwhile, Nabiullina said that the digital ruble is not a substitute for cash, but rather acts as a third form of money. Russian citizens would be free to choose which currency to use for transactions. However, this requires absolute confidentiality. In no case should this be confused with anonymity.
In fact, there won’t be the same level of anonymity that cash transactions can support. However, it is expected that confidentiality will be improved.
In order to meet these expectations, a distinctive code should be assigned to the digital ruble. This works in a similar way to cash. However, it is not yet entirely clear whether other parties besides the Russian central bank also have access to this data. This depends on the approved model of digital currency.
Is the introduction of the digital ruble too late?
While Nabiullina is optimistic that the digital ruble will be introduced soon, saidhowever, there are also critical voices. For Dmitry Peskov, a special envoy for the President of the Russian Federation, the rapid introduction of the digital ruble carries some risks. In his opinion, Russia is pursuing a rash strategy in this regard.
The risk to finance is so great that I believe a quick second strategy is far more effective than trying to lead the way.