• A draft law devoted to the digital ruble has been filed with the State Duma, the lower house of Russian parliament to create the necessary payment infrastructure for the digital ruble.
• The proposal aims to amend several existing laws such as the law on „On the National Payment System“ to assign to the Bank of Russia the role of sole operator of the CBDC platform.
• Changes to the Federal Law „On Personal Data“ allow Russia’s central bank to process personal info

The Bank of Russia, the country’s central bank, has proposed the introduction of a digital ruble, a central bank digital currency (CBDC) meant to facilitate payments and money transfers in the Russian Federation. The new form of national fiat has been submitted in the form of a draft law to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, for consideration.

The explanatory notes to the bill, quoted by the crypto page of the Russian business news portal RBC, suggest that the main purpose of the legislation is to develop the necessary payment infrastructure for the digital ruble. This, the sponsors believe, would provide Russian citizens, businesses, and the state with access to fast, convenient, and low-cost money transfers.

The proposal aims to amend several existing laws such as the law on „On the National Payment System“ to which the members of Duma want to add definitions pertaining to the CBDC. The new provisions assign to the Bank of Russia the role of sole operator of the CBDC platform. They also establish the procedures for opening wallets for the digital ruble and accessing its platform. An amendment to the law „On Currency Regulation and Currency Control“ secures the status of the digital ruble as a currency of the Russian Federation and defines CBDCs issued by the central banks of other nations as foreign currencies.

Changes to the Federal Law „On Personal Data“ allow Russia’s central bank to process personal information related to the digital ruble. The legislation also sets out the conditions for the use of data obtained in the process of providing services for the issuance, circulation, and withdrawal of the digital ruble.

The Bank of Russia is currently conducting a series of tests to assess the viability of the digital ruble. The central bank has already completed the first stage of the project, where it tested the technical capabilities of the CBDC platform. The second stage is focused on the testing of the legal framework and the third, the final stage, will assess the economic implications of the digital ruble.

The Bank of Russia expects to have the digital ruble ready for launch by the end of 2021. The introduction of the digital ruble would be a major development in the Russian payments sphere, as it would provide citizens and businesses with a faster, cheaper, and more secure alternative to traditional payment methods.