In the aftermath of its aggression against Ukraine, Russia is intensifying plans to use its central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital ruble, in the country’s trade with China. The development could encourage other nations across the world to use CBDCs in mutual settlements with foreign partners, accelerating global crypto adoption.
Anatoly Aksakov, a Russian lawmaker and the head of the financial committee of the Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, said that, after the CBDC is launched early next year, Moscow intends to use the digital ruble to decrease its reliance on western financial institutions.
“The topic of digital financial assets, the digital rouble and cryptocurrencies is currently intensifying in society, as Western countries are imposing sanctions and creating problems for bank transfers, including in international settlements,” he said, as quoted by Reuters.
Aksakov also stated that the project is key because financial flows can bypass systems controlled by countries which maintain frosty relations with Russia. The Bank of Russia, the country’s central bank, and the government have failed to reach consensus over cryptocurrency regulation, but the MP said he hoped legislation would emerge by the end of 2022.
“If we launch this, then other countries will begin to actively use it going forward, and America’s control over the global financial system will effectively end,” he said.
Last March, the Bank of Russia announced it officially launched the digital ruble trial, completing the first CBDC transfers among citizens. At the time of the announcement, three banks out of 12 financial institutions in the CBDC’s pilot group had already integrated the digital ruble’s platform, with two of them finalizing a “full cycle of digital ruble transfers between clients using mobile banking applications,” according to the bank.
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