The Russian Federation has decided to postpone the launch of its Central Bank Digital Currency, the digital ruble indefinitely. In February 2023, it was reported that selected customers will be able to use the first stage testing launch of CBDC from 1 April.
According to reports, the postponement was made due to the incomplete reading of the legislation in the State Duma (Federal Assembly’s lower house). In February, first deputy governor Olag Skorobogatova informed about 13 local banks involved in digital ruble transactions.
On 28 March, the state-owned mouthpiece of the Russian Federation released a report on delaying the testing phase of the digital ruble. According to the Central Bank of Russia, testing won’t start until the regulatory framework has been approved. Anatoly Aksakov, head of the committee on financial markets, said that laws are likely to be finalized by April end and testing may begin in early May.
Banks are ready to make the first transactions of the digital ruble as soon as possible. According to reports, the employees of participatory banks will be part of a testing phase to judge the compatibility of digital rubles. After the initial phase of testing, the central bank of Russia will review the working of the CBDC. Common citizens will be restricted from the use of CBDCs for their well-being.
The postponement of the digital ruble by coming so close to the launch is a setback for those who were waiting to use the central bank digital currency very anxiously. However, the banks who previously showed interest in adopting CBDCs have prepared their infrastructure for the launch and are keen to embrace the digital ruble. Several countries worldwide are currently struggling to formulate a comprehensive policy on digital currencies currently. The United States, Australia, and many other countries are still in the very initial phase of policy formulation for CBDCs.