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11 Mar 2021

Russia’s central bank plans to reveal digital ruble prototype later this year: report

The Bank of Russia, the country's central bank, plans to debut a prototype version of a digital ruble platform before the end of 2021, a senior official has reportedly said.

Russian news outlet Prime, citing deputy chairman Alexey Zabotkin, reported that the prototype would precede additional tests in 2022 after a public unveiling. A subsequent report from CoinDesk confirmed that the central bank plans to make its work on a digital ruble public. 

The developments add a degree of certainty to what Elvira Nabiullina, governor of the Central Bank of Russia, indicated was only a hypothetical last October. The central bank had not confirmed it would move forward with a digital currency prototype until this week. 

Nabiullina previously said that the CBDC will act as a “third form of money” and not replace cash and non-cash digital payments. Instead, it will merely allow users an additional payment choice. She also added that while the CBDC won’t allow anonymity like with cash, “confidentiality will be strengthened” for those using the digital currency. 

While Zabotkin is hopeful that the central bank digital currency (CBDC) infrastructure will be in place by the end of 2021, he adds that users will not be able to transact with actual money during these initial tests.

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