The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has announced plans to introduce “the digital ruble” as an alternative to cryptocurrencies that are banned in the country.
A digital currency that isn’t a cryptocurrency? It’s a bit confusing, but the CBR can see that the rapid growth of fintech solutions – both by start-ups and the existing players in the banking sector – need a form of the ruble that is a bit more friendly to electronic transfers than simply holding numbers in an electronic ledger, but at the same time doesn’t want to go all the way to creating a blockchain structure to create and trade the digital coins.
In mid-October, CBR released a paper on the prospects of introducing a digital currency, which would be called Central Bank Digital Currency, or CBDC. That paper was backed by an article from Alexey Zabotkin, CBR deputy governor, published in Econs journal.