Russia Discusses Testing Digital Ruble for Budget Payments

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The Central Bank of Russia and the Russian treasury are considering testing using the Russian CBDC, the digital ruble, to complete budget settlements. The tests would involve using this CBDC to make payments to businesses and citizens and receiving payments from these in CBDC, to ensure the targeted use of these funds.


Russian Digital Ruble Might Be Tested for Use in Budget Payments

The Central Bank of Russia might expand the pilot of the digital ruble, its central bank digital currency (CBDC), to include new budget-related use cases. According to Interfax, the bank and the Russian treasury would be discussing testing budget-related payments using the digital ruble to increase the efficiency of these processes.

In a recent press conference, Governor of the Central Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina explained how these tests might be organized. She stated:

We are conducting an analysis with them of the possibility of both payments to the budget from citizens and businesses, and budget payments to citizens and businesses, because we consider this a possible promising direction for using the digital ruble.

Before, Finance Minister of Rusia Anton Siluanov had hinted at utilizing the digital ruble for budget expenditures. In November, Siluanov reinforced the relevance of the digital ruble for payments that need to be delivered to specific individuals, like social aid and subsidy disbursements. However, Siluanov did not consider receiving similar payments in the digital ruble, a use case now being studied.

Russian authorities had claimed that pensions and other benefits were not planned to be paid in digital rubles, differentiating from China which is already paying some public servant wages in its CBDC, the digital yuan.

Earlier this month, Nabiullina offered an update on the state of the ongoing digital ruble pilot, stating that it was “on track.” Nabiullina reported that about 25,000 operations had been completed, including 19,000 between consumers and about 6,000 made to retail businesses and stores.

The digital ruble is expected to be launched in 2025.

What do you think about Russia’s plans for using the digital ruble for budget expenditures? Tell us in the comments section below.