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7 Aug, 2023 14:32

Digital ruble can help Russia fight sanctions – top economist

The national electronic currency was unveiled by the central bank in late 2020 and became operational this month
Digital ruble can help Russia fight sanctions – top economist

The newly launched digital Russian ruble could help Moscow conduct foreign trade in the face of Western sanctions, a high-profile Russian economist has suggested. The electronic currency officially became operational on August 1.

“I note that… Russia’s membership in the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is currently suspended,” Vladislav Ginko, who lectures at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), was quoted as saying by the BRIEF Telegram channel.

He explained that the digital ruble is not based on a single protocol and therefore cannot be visible to the Basel-based BIS. “Quite the contrary, with the help of the digital ruble in foreign trade, it is possible to effectively bypass the financial sanctions of Western countries,” Ginko claimed.

The idea of introducing a national digital currency was unveiled by the Bank of Russia in late 2020. Unlike virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, the digital ruble is said to pose minimal risk as it will be issued by the state monetary regulator and backed by traditional money.

Regulations stipulate that the digital ruble can be used for transfers and payments, while the currency is kept in digital wallets on a platform operated by the central bank. It will not be possible to open a deposit, take out a loan, or receive interest on digital currency.

The central bank plans to start pilot transactions with digital rubles involving a limited number of clients from 13 banks.

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