On February 24, in the Clubhouse room “Evening Clubhouse”, a session was held dedicated to the prospects of launching the digital ruble. It was attended by Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Alexei Zabotkin and First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Olga Skorobogatova, who spoke about the possible consequences of the introduction of the digital ruble for banks and citizens.
Alexey Zabotkin called the introduction of the digital ruble inevitable. This is due, inter alia, to the fact that large IT companies issue their own quasi-money, which poses a threat to financial stability in the event of their bankruptcy.
Banks’ cautious attitude to the Central Bank’s initiative is associated with the risk of losing transaction income, as well as a possible impact on access to cheap funding. The Central Bank acknowledged the existence of the risk of money flow from bank accounts into digital rubles and expressed its readiness to provide the market with liquidity in the required amount to compensate for it.
Access to the digital ruble will be provided through any bank using a digital wallet in its mobile application. Clients themselves choose where to keep their money: in a bank account, in a wallet with digital rubles, or somewhere else.
At the same time, none of the 191 respondents and 9 associations surveyed by the Central Bank gave a negative answer to the question about the possibility of introducing the digital ruble. Moreover, 83% of the respondents said that this should be done now. Sberbank proposed, in addition to the digital ruble, to introduce tokenized non-cash (marked non-cash money). If all banks support his proposal, the Central Bank is ready to discuss this idea with the market.
The Central Bank plans to present a concept according to the chosen model by April 1 – out of the four proposed, the majority spoke in favor of the two-tier model of the digital ruble (model D), when the bank, on behalf of the client, opens a wallet for him in digital rubles on the Central Bank platform. Until June 1, the Central Bank will discuss the concept with the market, by the end of the year a technical prototype will appear, and testing will begin in 2022.
The digital wallet will open for free, although transfer fees are still possible. There will be no limits on transfers of a digital ruble from one wallet to another, but when transferring non-cash rubles to a digital ruble, most likely, there will be limits on the amounts.