The wait is over! The Bank of Russia’s centralized, programmable digital token officially received the State Duma’s blessing on Tuesday.
Safe and convenient concepts such as “digital ruble platform”, “digital ruble platform participant”, as well as “digital ruble platform user” and “digital account (wallet)”, now have concrete definitions provided by pages and pages of legal mumbo-jumbo.
The approved legislation designates the Bank of Russia as the sole operator of the digital ruble platform. The Central Bank will be responsible for all aspects of “Russia’s” CBDC, including functionality, safety, and “the correct accounting” of transactions.
Interfax provided some more details about what was included in the final version of the bill:
The adopted law clarifies the ban on crediting digital ruble accounts, as well as on the accrual of interest on the balance of digital rubles. It is also prohibited to open joint digital ruble accounts (for several users).
The document also establishes the Central Bank’s right to block a platform participant (bank) from conducting a transaction if the regulator suspects it is being carried out without the client’s consent. In this case, the Central Bank will inform the bank or the client about the possibility of sending a second order using the same details and for the same amount. Upon receipt of a repeated order, the Central Bank will be obliged to honor it.
In addition, according to the law, the Bank of Russia will be able to enter into agreements with other CBDC operators [i.e., other central banks]—not only of a foreign state, but also of a group of foreign states.
By the way: Interfax’s report also featured an interesting comment from first deputy chairman of the Bank of Russia, Olga Skorobogatova, who is very excited about the possibility of creating not just “national” CBDCs, but CBDCs for “a whole space”. And just think: some gullible worrywarts claim CBDCs could undermine what little remains of national sovereignty.
The main provisions of the law will come into force on August 1, 2023.
The legislation also paves the way for a multi-phase project designed to integrate the digital ruble into Russia’s economy.