Russian regions are expressing their belief that the nation’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), known as the digital ruble, will aid in the fight against corruption by eliminating the shadow economy. Officials in Siberia are particularly eager to utilize the digital currency for their business transactions, according to the economy-focused newspaper Dela, which covers the Krasnoyarsk Krai region.
Yegor Vasiliev, Chairman of the Committee on Economics and Tax Policy of the Krasnoyarsk Krai Legislative Assembly, explained that the introduction of the digital ruble would have a significant impact on the region’s economy. Vasiliev praised the transparency and immutability of each transaction made with the digital ruble, stating that no illegal transactions could be carried out secretly.
The introduction of the CBDC is seen as a potential solution to the decades-long issue of corruption within Russian local government operations. Vasiliev believes that the digital ruble will help reduce corruption risks and the presence of a gray, shadow economy. As a result, he envisions that a portion of the region’s budgetary operations will be exclusively conducted using the digital ruble.
Highlighting a key advantage of the digital ruble, Vasiliev emphasized the ability to trace the token’s path from the day it is issued to its various owners. This transparent tracking mechanism could further aid in combating corruption.
In the Kamchatka region of the Russian Far East, Olga Khlabystina, Head of the Payment Systems and Settlements Department of the Central Bank’s Kamchatka Branch, discussed the future use of the digital ruble. She stated that special offline wallets, which can be topped up in advance, will allow residents in areas without internet access to utilize the digital currency. This development is expected to be particularly beneficial for people residing in remote and hard-to-reach areas of Kamchatka.
Russia has already begun conducting pilot tests for the digital ruble, with banks such as VTB, Qiwi, and Alfa reporting successful real-world transactions using the CBDC. Moscow is aiming to expedite the launch of its digital currency. Additionally, neighboring countries such as Kazakhstan and Belarus have indicated they will also accelerate the launch of their own digital tokens. The Russian Central Bank has expressed interest in the cross-border potential of its CBDC, while experts believe that a digital fiat will help Russian traders bypass international sanctions.
Overall, the introduction of the digital ruble holds promise for combating corruption and promoting transparency in Russian regions, with potential economic benefits being anticipated.