Russia to Launch Digital Ruble Prototype in Early 2022

Russia to Launch Digital Ruble Prototype in Early 2022

November 9, 2021

Russia has progressed further with its central bank digital currency (CBDC) initiative as the country is determined to develop a digital ruble prototype in early 2022 and is set for the launch of a pilot program, the Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina confirmed on Tuesday.

As reported by Reuters, the Russian central bank will decide on the future of the digital ruble after the launch of the pilot program.

The Bank of Russia first revealed its plans for the development of the digital ruble prototype earlier this year. Then, it planned to finish the prototype by the end of this year or by next year, without setting any specific deadline.

However, the central bank’s interest in a digital version of the ruble was first officially confirmed in October last year when it published a consultation paper, describing digital ruble as an ‘additional form of money alongside cash and non-cash’.

Though the central bank decided to proceed with the prototype development based on the initial models, it has faced some criticism from the association of Russian banks and fintech companies. They pointed out the drawbacks of the model of such a blockchain-based fiat and raised concerns over its use by fraudsters.

Big Decision on Crypto Mining

Meanwhile, the country’s Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Energy and the State Duma are pushing for the legalization of crypto mining activities, thus bringing proper regulations to the industry.

The proposal wants to label crypto miners as entrepreneurs. Although, the Bank of Russia is against regulating the crypto mining industry and the risks associated with crypto behind its stance.

After China’s crackdown on crypto mining, Russia is currently the third-largest crypto mining nation. Though crypto mining is not illegal in the country, the tax provisions of the industry remain unclear.

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