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Bank of Russia plans to test digital ruble in 2022

After that a roadmap will be drafted for the future implementation of the project

MOSCOW, April 8. /TASS/. Russia’s Central Bank plans to test the digital ruble during the whole 2022, after which a roadmap will be drafted for future implementation of the project, First Deputy Governor of the regulator Olga Skorobogatova told a press conference on Thursday.

"We plan to spend the whole 2022 on the testing stage, and only after obtaining the results of testing we will understand which roadmap on introduction of the targeted platform will be implemented and when," she explained.

According to the files to the press conference, the regulator plans to create a prototype of the digital ruble platform by December 2021. Drafting of legislation amendments is planned in January 2022, whereas the start of the digital ruble’s testing - in the first quarter of 2022.

At the current stage the Central Bank offers using a hybrid architecture of the digital ruble platform, which will consist of both centralized system components and blockchain. However, Skorobogatova acknowledged that there are no ready-made solutions for the digital ruble prototype yet, and the regulator will create the whole system by its own efforts. Meanwhile, First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank added that no solutions for organization of offline transfers that are also envisioned by the concept, exist so far.

Moreover, she noted that the Bank of Russia will set equal rules and tariffs for transactions in digital currency. Respective decisions will be made by the regulator later, at the next stage of implementation of the ‘Digital ruble’ project.

The Central Bank’s Deputy Governor Alexei Zabotkin said at the press conference that the digital ruble will be a universal payment instrument. For example, the regulator does not rule out its use for payment of taxes.

The Bank of Russia presented the digital ruble concept in a report in mid-October 2020. It will be in the form of a unique digital code that will be stored in a special electronic wallet. The digital ruble will be a full-fledged circulating medium equal to ordinary ruble and will be able to be widely-used by households, businesses and the state in the payment area, ensuring simplicity of payments, their high speed, low costs and high reliability. The Central Bank will issue the digital ruble.