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Testing of the digital ruble on real clients of banks will begin in April 2023

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation plans to start testing the digital ruble in real transactions and on bank customers in April 2023, Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, said.

“For the digital ruble, we planned to start a pilot on real operations, real clients from 2024. Now, seeing how fast we are going, most of the pilot banks with us are still in testing on test operations, we assume that from April next year we can start a pilot on real clients and on real operations,” Skorobogatova said during the annual meeting of credit institutions with the leadership of the Central Bank, organized by the Association of Banks of Russia.

She stressed that also from April 2023, the Central Bank wants to try to use smart contracts in the pilot of the digital ruble.

The prototype of the digital ruble platform was created in December 2021. Pilot operations began in February 2022, the pilot group included 12 banks.

Earlier it was reported that testing of the digital ruble platform will take place in several stages throughout 2022. As part of the first stage, in 2022 it is planned to connect credit organizations to the platform and launch C2C transfers (between individuals). At the second stage, it is planned to connect the Federal Treasury to the platform, launch smart contracts and C2B, B2C (between individuals and legal entities), B2B (legal entities), C2G, G2C, G2B, B2G operations (between citizens, legal entities and the state). It is planned to start testing payment for goods and services with the digital ruble in the fall of 2022.

In October 2020, the Bank of Russia published a consultative report on the digital ruble. The regulator is considering the possibility of expanding the monetary circulation system by adding two forms of the Russian ruble (cash and non-cash) to the third – digital.

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