The Russian Central Bank has clarified that its digital ruble, a central bank digital currency (CBDC), is not connected to the government’s efforts to collect biometric data. The bank has been piloting the digital ruble in 11 cities across Russia for the past month. However, Russian lawmakers passed a law last year allowing banks and state agencies to collect biometric data from their clients, including facial scans and fingerprints.

This data is used in the Unified Biometric System (UBS), which serves as a national digital remote identification platform. Unfortunately, the two projects have been conflated by some, leading to fraudsters exploiting the confusion. These scammers have been contacting citizens and requesting their biometric data to convert their cash ruble savings into digital ruble tokens.

The Governor of the Russian Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, emphasized that the digital ruble and biometrics are unrelated. She stated that the use of the digital ruble does not require the mandatory use of biometrics and that both projects are voluntary. Nabiullina also revealed that over 50 million people have voluntarily submitted their biometric data, while less than 1% have refused to do so.


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