Discussion of the detailed concept of the digital ruble will begin in early summer

The Central Bank of Russia will discuss a detailed concept of the digital ruble with the market in early summer, and will begin pilot testing later.  Interfax writes about this  with reference to the head of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Elvira Nabiullina.

Although there are still no approximate dates for the appearance of the digital ruble, the regulator plans to summarize the results of the consultations «in the near future.»

“The next step is the creation of a prototype of the platform, testing it, limited experiments, of course, it will be necessary to amend the legislation ,” said the head of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, Nabiullina admitted that banks are wary of the digital version of the ruble. Nevertheless, she believes that the regulator should still continue to work due to the «global trend» of digitalization .

The ruble is in a hurry to innovate

The head of the regulator carefully comments on the position of financial market participants. According to her, banks «expressed support» for the two-tier system of state digital currency . In this case, banks will serve customers, but the Central Bank will control the wallets.

However, it is worth noting that representatives of the banking market have repeatedly criticized the Central Bank for attempts to centralize the digital ruble. The Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain (RACIB)  believes that the proposed models of the digital ruble «put an end to maintaining a competitive environment.»

Vladislav Martynov, member of the supervisory board of RACIB, said that the proposed version of the digital ruble makes ordinary intermediaries out of banks. Banks will simply not be able to use digital currency as a passive base, he added.

Market experts’ opinions

Financial market participants doubt the need for the participation of the Central Bank to create a digital currency. According to the head of the National Payment Association Maria Mikhailova, the key problem lies in the essence of such a currency, «and not with the forms of project implementation.» Representatives of the payment systems Qiwi and Umoney made similar statements .

However, even the digital ruble is unlikely to be able to surpass the same bitcoin, says  Vasily Solodkov ,  director of the Banking Institute of the Higher School of Economics. According to him, the digital ruble «obviously loses» to cryptocurrencies .

Moreover, the digital ruble will not have anonymity, transboundary nature, and finiteness of emission, Solodkov summed up.

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