With the wave of sanctions that have descended on Russia over the past few months, the authorities’ apprehension towards cryptos has changed. In recent weeks, in fact, we have seen Russia grant an increasingly important place to this industry. This dynamic should also increase given the country’s particular interest in central bank digital currency (CBDC).
A CBDC pilot project with real users
Russia’s ambitions for the implementation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) are materializing. Despite the controversy around cryptos, a test phase of this project will see the light of day next April. This was recently announced by the Central Bank of the transcontinental country.
The project involves the use of the CBDC in real conditions, involving real users. The spirit behind this initiative is to put the Russian CBDC to the test of the field. This, in order to study its economic viability, and to measure the costs for users and for the State. It is also a way to test the reception that the asset will receive from the general public. This explains why, for the moment, this step concerns only a limited sample of users comprising 13 local banks and a few merchants and customers.
Within the framework of this preliminary program, only a few specific operations will be possible. According to Olga Skorobogatova, the first deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, these operations will be limited to “individual transfers as well as payments in trade and service companies”.
Is Moscow on the gas?
This new development comes as the debates around the adoption of the CBDC have not yet died down. If the Kremlin seems to be putting its foot on the accelerator, it is because the sanctions, in particular banking ones, are being felt.
It will be remembered that recently Russia allied with Iran to implement a gold-backed CBDC. A process on which Vladimir Putin’s country is counting to facilitate international financial transactions.
We see that Russia is trying by all means to get rid of the financial sanctions imposed by the West. The question remains whether this will be enough.
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