Russia is moving forward with its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) after President Vladimir Putin signed the Digital Ruble Law on 24 according to to an official document published by the state.

With this approval, the Digital Ruble Law is now officially scheduled to go into effect on August 1, 2023, with all but one of the rules set to be enforced.

Article number 3 — which includes amendments to several Russian federal laws, including those related to bankruptcy and inheritance, will enter into force from August next year.

The new legislation officially authorizes Russia’s central bank to launch the first CBDC pilot project with real consumers in August. Previously, the government expected to start trials in April in cooperation with 13 local banks, including heavyweights such as Sberbank.

According to the newly signed law, the Russian Central Bank will the main operator of the digital ruble infrastructure and will be responsible for all stored property. The digital ruble is designed to serve as a method of payment and money transfer and does not provide investment purposes.

The digital ruble is expected to act as a third form of money alongside the cash and non-cash ruble. Russian citizens will not be forced to use the CBDC, and the use of the digital ruble will be a voluntary choice left up to individuals to decide, Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina said. he declared on July 24 She stated:

“No one will force anyone into the digital ruble.” […] But we really hope that it will be more convenient and cheaper for people and businesses to start using it. This is a new opportunity.”

According to Bank of Russia Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogat’s government does not expect mass adoption of the digital ruble in Russia before 2025 or even 2027.

Related: Russian CBDC by 2025? What is happening with the digital ruble

The news comes shortly after Russia’s State Duma – the country’s lower house of parliament – passed the digital bill in the third final reading on July 11. The bill was subsequently approved by the Federation Council, or Senate, on July 19. According to official records, the digital ruble law was originally registered in December 2022.

The latest development of the digital ruble banknote. Source: System of legislative activity of Russia

While Russian lawmakers move quickly with CBDC legislation, they continue to delay the introduction of cryptocurrency regulation, after a series of delays in the past.

In May, State Duma official Anatoly Aksakov again he promised to pass four bills related to cryptocurrency mining, taxation, and international cryptocurrency settlement, although it doesn’t appear to have progressed much since then.

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