The Federation Council of Russia has approved a bill that gives legal power to the central bank’s digital currency (CBDC).

The digital rouble

This means that, if President Vladimir Putin also approves the bill, the digital rouble could be tested starting from August 2023.

The bill was successfully passed through Russia’s State Duma and the Federation Council, the highest legislative body in the country.

If the law is enforced, the central bank will operate the platform for the digital ruble, which can be used for payments and transfers via digital wallets linked to the central bank’s platform or partner banks. It’s important to note that the CBDC will only be used for payments and transfers, not for lending or deposits.

According to representatives from the Central Bank of Russia, the digital ruble project will prioritize the privacy of Russian users.

However, it should be noted that the digital ruble will not offer the same level of anonymity as cash transactions.

Russia announced the digital ruble project in October 2020 and completed a prototype of the CDBC platform in December 2021.

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation tested the platform for the digital ruble in September 2022 and successfully completed a cycle of transfers between individual clients.

Digital wallets were also introduced to the platform, allowing clients to exchange non-cash rubles in their accounts for digital ones.

While countries like China and India have already launched pilots for their CBDCs, the US is taking a more cautious approach and conducting research on the potential implications of introducing a digital dollar.

Pros and cons of CBDCs

CBDCs, unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, are centralized tokens that are tied to national fiat currencies. According to Forbes, CBDCs provide a secure and reliable way to make digital payments and remittances.

These tokens can be used for both online and offline transactions, integrated into existing payment systems, and help facilitate cross-border payments.

However, there are concerns about increased surveillance of financial transactions and the potential negative impact on the banking sector.

Forbes has examined how CBDCs could lead to competition with banks, leading to a loss of profits. Additionally, there are concerns over the privacy and security of financial transactions.

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