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Russian Officials Predict International CBDC Payments to Become the Norm Within 5 Years

Anatoly Aksakov, the Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, has stated that Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are expected to become widespread and a standard for international payments within the next five years.

Aksakov made these remarks during an interview at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). He noted that currently, few countries have made significant progress in implementing national digital currencies.

The Russian legislator expressed that the technological lag indicates that nations are not yet ready to conduct international transactions using digital currencies. However, he is confident that within five years, this will become standard practice.

Domestic Payments by the Second Half of 2025

Aksakov revealed that Russia might begin using the digital ruble for international transactions as early as the second half of 2025. However, he emphasized the need to first test the digital ruble domestically.

He added that it is necessary to implement it more broadly within the country, including usage by legal entities, before promoting it internationally. He also suggested that smart contracts be used promptly to test budget financing.

Russia has been at the forefront of CBDC development, with the Central Bank of Russia actively researching the digital ruble. The emergence of the digital ruble concept is part of the country’s broader efforts to modernize its financial system and reduce reliance on traditional banking infrastructure.

In October 2020, the Central Bank of Russia released a consultative document outlining the potential benefits and risks of introducing the digital ruble. Since then, Russia has been testing various aspects of the CBDC through pilot projects.

Historically, Russia has pursued greater financial independence, especially in response to Western sanctions. The introduction of the digital ruble aligns with these efforts, aiming to facilitate safer and more efficient financial transactions, circumventing the traditional financial system that could be subject to international pressures.

This strategic move also aims to enhance Russia’s economic sovereignty and reduce the impact of foreign sanctions on its financial system.

International Testing Partners

Aksakov also disclosed that preliminary tests of CBDC international transactions might involve China or Belarus.

He mentioned that China has made significant strides in the digital yuan, and both Russia and China have experience with the technology, making it feasible to begin settling transactions via digital currency.

He added that the two countries are “technically very close,” which would simplify the testing process. At the same time, Aksakov indicated that Belarus might become a potential partner due to its friendly relations with Russia.

Sentiment: Positive

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