Central Bank Digital Currencies emerged as a major topic in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space in 2020 and could have the potential to challenge to dominance of the SWIFT international payment system in the future.
This is according to a report from RT quoting a Russian central bank official, who commented on ongoing developments of a CBDC in Russia just before the curtain closes on the year 2020.
First Deputy Governor of the CBR Olga Skorobogatova revealed that 30 financial regulators had been working on a Russian ‘digital ruble’, with the central bank estimating that other major nations could launch their own sovereign CBDC’s in the next five to seven years.
“Then we can deal with direct integration issues. In this case SWIFT it may not be necessary, because it will be a different kind of technological interaction,” Skorobogatova was quoted as saying during an online meeting last week.
Sanctions have forced Russia to develop alternatives
The RT article also focuses on Russia’s recent efforts to develop their own financial messaging network called SPFS. This has been an answer to threatened international sanctions that would disconnect Russia from the SWIFT system.
SWIFT powers much of the globe’s international payments – accounting for around 11,000 financial institutions in more that 200 countries. Russia has been busy with development of its own CBDC for some time and could be tested in Crimea in early 2021.
Positivity towards a Digital Ruble
Another report from CoinDesk in early December detailed how the Russian Central Bank had been in consultation with industry participants that would work or be affected by the issuance of CBDC.
The article detailed how participants had expressed excitement about trialing the Digital Ruble next year. Nevertheless the Central Bank’s deputy chair Sergey Shvetsov made it clear that the Digital Ruble would be the only digital currency seen as legal tender.
“We will prevent issuance of any new payment tools. If there is a need for a crypto asset for the functionality [of a financial platform], the crypto ruble will be that asset,” Shvetsov said during a Zoom meeting.