The digital ruble law project has made significant progress, having passed the first reading and expected to receive approval in June, as indicated by Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the Duma's Financial Markets Committee. The Bank of Russia eagerly awaits the enactment of this legislation to conduct a live test of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) with real users.
The Russian State Duma, the lower chamber of the parliament, anticipates the imminent approval of the digital ruble law, according to Aksakov. The bill has already passed the first reading, and Aksakov stated that it is scheduled for the second and third readings in June.
Once the law is passed, it will facilitate the launch of a pilot program involving real transactions and customers. Initially planned for April, the program was delayed by the regulator to await the approval of a regulatory framework governing such activities.
The proposed draft bill designates the Central Bank of Russia as the exclusive operator responsible for the digital ruble's functionality. However, concerns have been raised regarding the access to users' personal data without consent or the need to inform relevant government institutions. The State Duma has called for rectification to safeguard personal data rights in upcoming discussions.
Beyond Russia's inclusion of the Chinese yuan as a reserve currency and its extensive use in bilateral transactions with China, the Central Bank of Russia aims to position the digital ruble as a valuable tool to mitigate the impact of sanctions imposed by Western countries since 2022. Aksakov emphasized the importance of the digital ruble in bypassing sanctions and facilitating bilateral settlements with China.
With the potential approval of the digital ruble law in June, Russia moves closer to establishing the legal framework for its central bank digital currency. This development will open up new possibilities for digital transactions and pave the way for the pilot program to be conducted with real users, marking a significant step forward in the digitalization of the Russian economy.
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