• Russian regions say that the nation’s CBDC, the digital ruble, will help them fight corruption.
• Officials in Siberia are keen to use the coin to conduct their business and reduce risks of shadow economy.
• Russia began piloting the digital ruble earlier this week with traditional allies such as Kazakhstan and Belarus exploring their own tokens.
Fight Corruption with Digital Ruble
Russian regions say that the nation’s CBDC, the digital ruble, will help them fight corruption by “eliminating the shadow economy.” Yegor Vasiliev, Chairman of the Committee on Economics and Tax Policy of Krasnoyarsk Krai Legislative Assembly, said that each transaction with a digital ruble is transparent and immutably recorded, making it difficult for illegal transactions to be carried out secretly. This will help reduce risks of corruption and gray economy in local governments.
Advantages of Digital Ruble
Vasiliev also stated that a key advantage of a digital ruble is being able to trace a token’s path from its issue date and from owner to owner. In Kamchatka region in Russian Far East, Olga Khlabystina from Central Bank’s Kamchatka Branch highlighted potential usage of offline wallets which can be topped up in advance for residents living in remote areas without internet access.
Successful Pilot Tests
Russia began piloting the digital ruble earlier this week with banks including VTB, Qiwi and Alfa successfully carrying out real-world transactions using CBDC. Moscow is looking to expedite launch of its coin while traditional ally countries such as Kazakhstan and Belarus have also indicated that they will speed up launch of their own tokens as well.
The Russian Central Bank has spoken about possible cross-border potential for its CBDC which could help traders sidestep sanctions if implemented correctly.
The introduction of a digital currency has been met positively by many regions within Russia due to its ability to reduce risks related to corruption and gray economy while providing convenience through offline wallets for those living in remote areas without internet access. The success so far suggests further positive progress towards launching the official digital currency as soon as possible while exploring all potential benefits it may bring both locally and internationally.