March 28, 2024
Altcoins News

Russian Federal Assembly Advances Digital Ruble Bill in Key Legislative Move toward CBDC Adoption

Digital Ruble, Russia’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) project, has moved closer to becoming a reality. The State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian Federation’s Federal Assembly, approved the digital ruble bill in its third reading on July 11. The legislation will now proceed to the Federation Council, the assembly’s upper chamber, and then potentially to the president for final approval.

The bill, last amended in late June, establishes the legal definitions of key terms such as “platform,” “participants,” and “users” and provides general guidelines for the digital ruble ecosystem.

Under the current framework, the Bank of Russia (BoR), Russia’s central bank, will serve as the primary operator of the digital ruble infrastructure and will be responsible for safeguarding all stored assets.

The primary purpose of the central bank digital currency, as stated by the BoR, is to facilitate payments and transfers, which means users will not be able to open savings accounts. Individual customers will enjoy free payment and transfer services, while corporate clients will be charged 0.3% of the payment amount.

The bill was introduced to the State Duma in December 2022 and passed its initial reading in March 2023. In February, a subsidiary of Gazprombank, a major government-owned gas company, expressed concerns about potential risks for banks in a rapid transition to digital currency. The Russian branch of McKinsey estimated that traditional banks could face losses of around 250 billion rubles ($3.5 billion) over five years due to the implementation of the central bank digital currency, while retailers could potentially earn $1.1 billion annually, according to the consultancy firm.

In a recent interview, Olga Skorobogatova, the deputy chairman of the central bank, announced plans for the mass adoption of the digital ruble by all Russian citizens by 2027. A pilot program will be conducted between 2023 and 2024 to test the CBDC.

Image by fabrikasimf on Freepik

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