11 Jul 2023 17:50

State Duma ratifies law on introduction of digital ruble

MOSCOW. July 11 (Interfax) - In its third reading, the State Duma adopted a law on the introduction of the Central Bank's digital ruble in Russia and the creation of a digital ruble platform.

The document (N270838-8) was included in a package of bills on the introduction of a third form of money in Russia and was submitted to parliament at the end of December 2022 by a group of deputies and senators. It also includes a document amending the Civil Code (N270852-8), which was adopted by the State Duma in the second reading on June 20. At the same time, a draft law on the integration of the digital ruble into the system of Russian tax regulation and control (N384598-8) was submitted to parliament.

The adopted law clarifies the ban on crediting digital ruble accounts, as well as on the accrual of interest on the balance of digital rubles. It is also prohibited to open joint digital ruble accounts (for several users).

The document also establishes the Central Bank's right to refuse a platform participant (bank) the right to conduct a transaction on a client's order if the regulator reveals signs that the transaction is being conducted without the client's consent. In this case, the Central Bank will inform the bank or the client of the possibility of sending a second order using the same details and for the same amount. Upon receipt of a repeated order, the Central Bank will be obliged to execute it.

In addition, according to the law, the Central Bank will be able to conclude agreements with the operator of the information system of the national currency, issued in digital form, not only of a foreign state, but also of a group of foreign states.

Earlier, the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, Olga Skorobogatova, voiced the idea of creating a digital national currency, not for one particular country, but for an entire space. "The idea is fantastic; it is discussed a lot. I don't know if we will see it in the near future, when, for example, a single national digital currency is created in a specific space," Skorobogatova said at the Financial Congress of the Bank of Russia.

The main provisions of the law will come into force on August 1, 2023.

At the same time, the adopted law extends for a year (until December 31, 2024) the right of the Central Bank to determine the circle of users of the digital ruble platform, as well as the list of transactions on the platform and their threshold amounts. The document also clarifies that the decision must be agreed with Rosfinmonitoring.

If the bill is adopted, the Central Bank hopes to conduct the first real operations with the digital ruble in July-August of this year, the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank said at SPIEF.

At the end of March, the Central Bank announced that it was ready to conduct a pilot with real digital rubles with 13 banks as scheduled starting April 1. The pilot did not take place due to the lack of the necessary legal framework.