Bank of Russia Starts Testing Digital Ruble

In a post on its website, the Russia Central Bank announced the testing of the digital Ruble had commenced with 12 banks invited to onbaord following the creation of a prototype in December 2021.

Some of the banks that were invited include:

  • Ak Bars Bank
  • VTB Bank (PJSC)
  • Gazprombank
  • SOYUZ Bank

Three of the banks from the pilot group have already connected to the platform while 2 have successfully completed a full cycle of digital ruble transfers between clients using banking mobile applications.


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According to Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia, the digital Ruble will serve the following purposes:

  • Free transactions available in all Russian regions for households
  • Reduce costs and enable introduction of innovative products and services
  • Serve as a new tool for Government payments and for budget payment administration


As such, the bank is testing applications related to the identified uses. Testing will run in 2 major stages:

  • The first involving the opening of digital wallets by banks and households before testing transfers between individuals
  • The second stage will test payments to larger bodies such as retail and service companies, payments for public services, sales of smart contracts as well as interaction with the Federal Treasury

The Russian Central Bank also plans to make the digital Ruble available for offline use, enable interaction with other digital financial services, and usability by non residents.


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