On July 11, the State Duma adopted a law establishing the basis for the introduction of the digital ruble in Russia at the same time in the second and third readings.
The document was submitted by a group of deputies led by the chairman of the financial market committee, Anatoly Aksakov. The law will enter into force on August 1, 2023, with the exception of separate norms that will come into effect later.
Bank of Russia has been appointed as the issuer of the new form of currency, as well as the operator of the digital ruble platform. The Central Bank will guarantee the secrecy of digital ruble accounts and their balances, as well as user operations. It is important to note that digital rubles cannot be credited to deposits and deposits in banks.
Non-residents will be able to carry out transactions with digital rubles without restrictions. The bill adopted by the State Duma clarifies the concept of “foreign currency” in the context of the digital ruble — it will count as digital national currencies issued by foreign central banks. Until December 31, 2024, all decisions about who will be able to use the digital ruble and what operations with it are permissible will be made by the Bank of Russia in coordination with Rosfinmonitoring.
Что такое digital ruble
The digital ruble is a digital code stored in a special electronic wallet. It differs from cryptocurrency by the fact that it is issued exclusively by the Central Bank and is provided by its reserves. And its difference from non-cash money is that the digital ruble can be stored only on the specialized platform of the Bank of Russia.
With the help of digital rubles, Russians will be able to pay for goods and services, make payments, transfer money, and also pay for transactions with financial instruments and assets. The Central Bank will carry out transactions with the new form of currency both online and offline. In the second case, users are offered to pre-reserve a certain amount of digital rubles in an electronic wallet.
Bank of Russia will open only one digital wallet for each individual or legal entity. The limit of replenishment of such an account will be 300 thousand rubles, said the chairman of the regulator, Elvira Nabiullina. Russians will be able to deposit digital rubles into a wallet and, on the contrary, withdraw money from there through their bank accounts.
When Russians will be able to use the digital ruble
The Central Bank announced the launch of a pilot project for testing the digital ruble in January 2022. For the experiment, the regulator selected 15 commercial banks. By the end of March 2023, eight of them had completed testing digital ruble transfers between individuals. In April, the Central Bank announced the second wave of testing, to which another 19 credit institutions joined.
Initially, the Central Bank assumed that a new form of currency would become available to a wide range of Russians by 2030. By 2024, the Bank of Russia planned to establish the exchange of the digital ruble for foreign currency and the possibility of opening wallets for non-resident clients. However, due to the introduction of new anti-Russian sanctions in 2022, many of which affected the financial sector, the regulator accelerated the testing and development of the digital ruble. At the end of this April, the head of the Ministry of Finance, Anton Siluanov, promised that the Central Bank would put it into circulation by the end of the year.