The State Duma of Russia has taken a bold step towards digital currency by approving a draft law that would pave the way for the launch of a digital version of the national currency, the ruble. This would allow for easier transactions and give the Central Bank of Russia greater control over the country's financial system.
The bill, which has been submitted to the Duma by a group of deputies and senators, seeks to amend various laws to introduce legal definitions and procedures for the launch of the central bank digital currency. This would include defining terms such as "participant of the digital ruble platform" and "user of the digital ruble platform."
The bill assigns the Central Bank of Russia as the sole operator of the digital ruble platform and guarantees its safe functioning. The legislation also secures the status of the digital ruble as a currency of the Russian Federation and defines the digital currencies of other central banks as foreign currencies.
The Central Bank of Russia plans to start testing the digital ruble with real users and transactions on April 1 and aims for a full launch in 2024. This would make Russia one of the first countries in the world to launch a central bank digital currency.
However, there are concerns about the protection of personal data, as the bill seeks to grant the Central Bank of Russia powers to process personal data without obtaining user consent or notifying the body responsible for the protection of such information. The Duma has tasked the Financial Market Committee to ensure the protection of personal data subjects when finalizing the document ahead of the second reading.
Despite these concerns, the launch of a digital ruble would have numerous benefits for the Russian financial system. It would reduce the cost and time of transactions, increase financial inclusion, and allow the government to have greater control over the economy. It would also put Russia at the forefront of digital currency innovation and could potentially be a model for other countries to follow.
Overall, the approval of this draft law is a significant step towards a digital future for Russia and could have far-reaching implications for the global financial system.