Research conducted by the information service provider Bankinform estimated that many Russians are interested in the news surrounding the potential launch of a digital ruble. However, 32% are not in favor of such a monetary product, viewing it as some sort of scam.
The world’s largest country by landmass has been among the most active on the CBDC scene. The pilot version, which will include testing with banks, businesses, and consumers, is expected to start in mid-August.
Russians not so Supportive
The study revealed that 13% of the respondents closely monitor the development of the digital ruble and intend to use it once it sees the light of day. Those participants also said they see new opportunities presented by the upcoming CBDC.
Every third questioned person admitted following the news about the new digital form of Russia’s national currency but has no intention to deal with it. Over 21% are not interested in the topic at all.
The most interesting answer came from 32% of the respondents, who labeled the Russian CBDC as “some kind of fraud.”
There are different reasons why one might not be in favor of that type of financial product. CBDCs will be issued and controlled by centralized authorities, meaning they could endanger people’s privacy. According to Bankinform, though, another contributing factor to the distrust in the digital ruble could be the “ignorance” and the lack of substantial information on its advancement.
Scam or not, many nations (including some leading economies) have already started exploring the product. As CryptoPotato recently reported, Japan, Australia, South Korea, the UK, and many others have introduced some programs to test the pros and cons of a central bank digital currency.
Somewhat expectedly (considering the political regime there), China is leading the race. The domestic authorities have introduced multiple initiatives to popularize the digital yuan, such as allowing CBDC settlements during the 2022 Winter Olympic Games held in Beijing.
How far has Russia Gone?
The country’s officials seem determined to finalize their CBDC project in the near future. Not long ago, President Vladimir Putin signed a law that enables Russia’s Civil Code to add the digital ruble as a payment method. At the same time, the central bank was allowed to introduce the product to citizens.
“We really hope that it will be more convenient and cheaper for both people and businesses, and they will start using it. This is a new opportunity,” Elvira Nabiullina – Governor of the bank – stated.
Earlier this week, the financial institution announced plans to start experiments with the CBDC. First Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova said the operation will involve 13 banks and a limited circle of their customers.
“We plan to introduce the digital ruble into mass circulation based on the results of phased testing and subject to the successful completion of piloting all scenarios for operations with the digital ruble. We expect that starting from 2025, citizens and businesses will be able to actively use the national digital currency, of course, at their own request,” she added.