8 Sep 2022 10:32

CBR to promote use of digital ruble in international settlements

MOSCOW. Sept 8 (Interfax) - The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) sees potential for using the digital ruble, which is now going through trials, in international transactions.

"We are immediately making a prototype, a model that is compatible with other monetary systems, but here, like in the SPFS [financial transfer system] and using Mir cards, the other side's desire and willingness are needed. But we will actively promote the possibility of cross-border settlements using the digital ruble," Central Bank chief Elvira Nabiullina said in an interview with Rossiya24 ahead of the Moscow Financial Forum.

The prototype of the digital ruble platform was created in December 2021, and pilot operations began in February 2022. Twelve banks are participating in pilot program.

Testing of the digital ruble platform will be done in several stages. In the first stage, in 2022, there are plans to connect lenders to the platform and launch C2C transfers (between individuals). In the second phase, there are plans to connect the Federal Treasury to the platform, launch smart contracts and C2B, B2C (between individuals and businesses), B2B, C2G, G2C, G2B and B2G (between individuals, businesses and government) transactions.

Testing of the digital ruble in actual transactions and on bank customers is scheduled to begin in April 2023. The CBR also wants to work out the use of smart contracts in the digital ruble pilot starting in April 2023.

Nabiullina said that banks "very actively want to participate in this experiment," which will run to the beginning of 2023. And "next year we will begin conducting certain types of transactions of limited size in order to then gradually put it into circulation," she said.