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Russia Approves Digital Ruble Law, Sets Path for CBDC Implementation

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has given his endorsement to the digital ruble bill, officially enacting it into law on July 24.

The digital ruble will serve as an additional form of the Russian national currency, alongside physical cash and non-cash transactions, beginning from August 1, 2023.

Under the new legislation, the digital ruble will primarily function as a medium for payments and transfers, coexisting with existing cash and non-cash forms of the ruble.

However, it will not be used for opening bank accounts or obtaining loans denominated in digital rubles.

The Russian central bank will take the lead as the principal operator for the digital ruble infrastructure, ensuring the secure management of stored assets.

Those who are not participants or operators in the digital ruble platform are prohibited from using related terms and expressions in their advertising.

Importantly, the usage of the digital ruble is entirely voluntary, according to Elvira Nabiullina, the Bank of Russia governor.

Nabiullina stated:

No one is going to force anyone into the digital ruble […] But we really hope that it will be more convenient and cheaper for both people and businesses, and they will start using it. This is a new opportunity.

Russian citizens will not be compelled to adopt the CBDC; the decision rests with individuals.

Provisions for the inheritance of digital rubles have been outlined in the legislation.

Individuals can pass on their rights to these digital assets through testamentary dispositions or wills, enabling the proper management and distribution of digital assets upon one's passing.

While the government is hopeful for widespread adoption, it does not anticipate mass usage of the digital ruble before 2025 or even 2027, as stated by Bank of Russia deputy governor Olga Skorobogatova.

The digital ruble will be programmable to implement specific transaction limits and restrictions on spending.

With the digital ruble's introduction, Russia has also banned the use of private cryptocurrencies for domestic payments, allowing them only for cross-border trade.

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