- The planned CBDC pilot will include actual businesses and real consumers.
- The participating financial institutions have technically validated their preparedness.
As of April 1, 2023, the first consumer pilot of Russia’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) will be introduced by the Bank of Russia. According to Russia’s first deputy governor Olga Skorobogatova, digital ruble transactions involving 13 regional banks and many retailers will be introduced by the Russian central bank.
According to TASS, a Russian local media outlet, the planned CBDC pilot will include actual businesses and real consumers in Russia. But would be restricted to a set amount of transactions and customers.
Skorobogatova stated at a recent event:
“We plan to launch the digital ruble project on April 1, with transactions involving individual transfers as well as payments in trade and service enterprises.”
Preponed From Original 2024 Deadline
Moreover, she also said that the participating financial institutions have technically validated their preparedness to begin testing the digital ruble. The deputy governor elaborated on the development in the first phase. The pilot will be limited to select clients of the participating banks. Rather than open to the whole public.
The Bank of Russia aims to evaluate how to expand the digital ruble. Especially after the first test phase, as revealed by Skorobogatova. Furthermore, the plan for the introduction of the digital ruble was formally launched by the central bank in June 2022. And Skorobogatova’s newest declaration is in line with that plan.
Since the Russian central bank sought an alternative to the SWIFT payments system in light of Western economic sanctions on Russia. The CBDC consumer pilot was brought up from its original 2024 deadline.