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‘Departing technology’: Cash going way of the dodo, will be replaced by digital money in coming decades, says Russian Central Bank

‘Departing technology’: Cash going way of the dodo, will be replaced by digital money in coming decades, says Russian Central Bank
Cash is becoming a thing of the past, and in the next few decades it will be completely replaced by digital currency. That’s according to the first deputy chairman of Russia’s Central Bank, who predicted the end of physical money.

Speaking on Friday at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Sergey Shvetsov said that cash is becoming less and less essential, with more people using cards and non-physical methods of payment.

“Paper is an infection. They call it ‘dirty money,’” Shvetsov said. “It’s probably a departing technology.”

According to the banker, cash is now mostly used in cases where there is no alternative, such as card payment or bank transfer, as well as in illegal transactions .

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“I think cash will also be marginal someday, in 20-30 years,” he said. “The digital ruble will have to replace it.”

The idea of a government-run digital currency has been floated for some time. Last October, Russia’s Central Bank revealed that it would be developing a digital ruble as a response to “public demand for new, advanced payment methods.”

Like a cryptocurrency, each unit will have a unique identifier and can be sent to and from electronic wallets. However, unlike crypto, it is a central bank liability and is classed as a fiat currency.

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“Just like cash and non-cash rubles, a digital ruble will perform all three functions of money: it will act as a means of payment, a measure of value, and a store of value,” the Central Bank paper said. “A digital ruble can make payments faster, simpler, and safer.”

Speaking to American news network CNBC earlier this week, Russian Central Bank governor Elvira Nabiullina revealed her opinion that central bank digital currencies can fill the need for new, fast, cheap payment systems. She also said that the Russian version would be completed by the end of the year, with testing to begin in early 2022.

Earlier this year, the head of the Russian Parliamentary Committee for the Financial Market, Anatoly Aksakov, called the digital ruble “the highest form of money.”

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