The race between nations looking to be a leader when it comes to central bank digital currencies just got more intense as Russia might be stepping in, as early as next year. A recent report from Forbes cites Anatoly Aksakov, a Russian member of parliament who sits on the Central Bank’s National Banking Council, stating that a digital ruble is in the works.
During the Blockchain Life 2020 forum, Aksakov assured that Russia will have a digital ruble, adding that it is the “future” of the nation’s monetary system.
“I always believed that a digital ruble is the future of all our money circulation. Already we have begun consultations (on a digital ruble) and I think a digital ruble will start being tested, possibly even in the next year.”
Several Russian media reports have also posted that a state-backed digital currency, which would be based on blockchain systems, is likely in late 2021. The token would also be used on DLT platforms, and businesses would be able to utilize it to track goods across the supply chain.
The CBDC would be similar to the ruble, and would be used a means of payment, a measure of value, and a store of value. All the variations of the ruble will also be equal with one cash ruble equalling one non-cash ruble, one digital ruble equalling one cash ruble, the Russian central bank has said.
CBDC and Blockchain, not Crypto
While Aksakov greatly appreciated blockchain technology, calling it the “technology of the future”, he isn’t so friendly towards cryptocurrencies. He said:
“There are currently two equal positions on cryptocurrencies. The main opposition to cryptocurrencies is coming from the high-risk it poses for financial institutions, ordinary people. This side is trying to foresee all the risks involved and possible reactions to them.”
According to data from Cambridge University, Russia has more than 12 million crypto users. In spite of that, the nation is set to pass a new set of crypto regulations that will come into force on January 1st, 2021.
According to the new rules, people would be able to trade digital financial assets within Russia, but would not be allowed to pay for goods and services with crypto currency.
“In my opinion, the law allows for many things within the Russian regulatory environment,” says Aksakov, adding that “many very serious businessmen are already preparing to launch their digital financial assets.”
A wake up call for America
Meanwhile, Russia joining the CBDC race could be the last warning for the USA to address the situation. China is also close to deploying its CBDC soon, but there has been no word from the American regulators.
The closest we got to see was the United States National Security Council (NSC) naming DLT as one of the most critical focus areas for the nation to maintain technological dominance against China and Russia in one of its recent reports.