The first stage of digital ruble testing launched by the Russian Central Bank involves national commercial banks. Participants made the very first transfers in digital currency.
Two commercial banks took part in testing. Their names are not disclosed. They successfully carried out a full cycle of operations for the transfer of digital rubles between individuals. Commercial bank’s clients opened digital wallets through special banking mobile apps and exchanged non-cash rubles from their accounts for digital ones, and then transferred digital rubles between their wallets.
According to the Bank of Russia, 12 banks expressed their desire to take part in testing the digital ruble platform, three of them have already connected to the platform. The remaining participants in the pilot group plan to join the testing of the digital ruble platform as they complete their IT systems.
The regulator clarifies that the interaction between the Bank of Russia and market participants in operations with digital rubles is based on the principle of a two-tier retail model. The Bank of Russia acts as the issuer and operator of the platform, while financial institutions open wallets for individuals and make transactions.
The second stage of testing the digital ruble is scheduled for autumn 2022. It is expected that not only banks but also other companies will take part in it. Operations for paying for goods and services in trade and service enterprises, payments for public services, the implementation of smart contracts, as well as interaction with the Federal Treasury will be tested.
The list of banks in the pilot group includes Ak Bars Bank, Alfa-bank, Dom.rf, VTB, Gazprombank, Tinkoff Bank, Promsvyazbank, Rosbank, Sberbank, SKB-bank, SOYUZ, TKB Bank.