18 March 2023
Russian lawmakers have approved a draft law facilitating the implementation of the digital version of the national currency, the ruble. The legislation amends various other acts to introduce definitions and establish procedures related to the launch of the central bank digital currency.
The lower house of Russian parliament, the State Duma, has adopted in the first reading a bill introducing legislative changes necessary for the realization of the digital ruble project. Most notably, it seeks to amend the law “On the National Payment System.”
The latter will be supplemented with legal definitions related to the central bank digital currency (CBDC) issued by the Bank of Russia. The authors also propose procedures for accessing the state-backed coin’s platform as well as for opening a digital wallet, RBC Crypto noted in a report.
According to the business daily Vedomosti, the draft suggests terms like “participant of the digital ruble platform” and “user of the digital ruble platform.” It assigns the role of sole operator to the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) which will guarantee its safe functioning.
The bill also amends the law “On Currency Regulation and Currency Control.” This particular revision secures the status of the digital ruble as a currency of the Russian Federation and defines the digital currencies of other central banks as foreign currencies.
The sponsors want to grant the CBR powers to process personal data without obtaining user consent and without notifying the body responsible for the protection of such information. This will be done through changes to the federal law “On Personal Data.”
The bill was submitted to the State Duma in late December by a group of deputies and senators led by the chair of the Financial Market Committee, Anatoly Aksakov. Now the house has tasked the committee to “take into account the need to ensure the protection of the rights of personal data subjects” when finalizing the document ahead of the second reading.
Alongside the digital ruble bill, the house also adopted amendments to the Civil Code that classify the CBDC as non-cash money and regulate other aspects such as inheritance. Proposals for further revisions of the drafts will be accepted by mid-April. Bank of Russia plans to start testing the digital ruble with real users and transactions on April 1 and aims for a full launch in 2024.
Do you think Russia will accelerate the introduction of the digital ruble amid sanctions and financial restrictions over the war in Ukraine? Share your expectations in the comments section below.
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