Russia’s Central Bank Is Leaning Towards a ‘Two-tier System’ for Digital Ruble

The central bank of Russia said on Thursday that it is looking at a two-tier system for its digital ruble. Here, banks would be opening digital wallets with the regulator, serving as intermediaries for companies and customers.

The Bank of Russia first floated the idea of the digital version of sovereign fiat currency last October, saying it can issue the digital ruble on top of existing cash and non-cash rubles to facilitate payments.

The central bank since then has been allaying banks’ fears that a CBDC might hurt their profits.

“We are leaning towards model D, which will allow us to keep the two-tier system we have and give an additional advantage to citizens, companies and the state in terms of speeding up settlements, heightening their security, reducing costs and increasing financial accessibility.”

Ivan Zimin Central Bank Head Of Financial Technology Dept.

While clarity on the technology to be used for the digital platform has not been provided, Zimin said distributed ledger technology was one of the elements being used.

In this scenario, the apex bank would be creating a platform and give individuals and companies access through banks and other institutions.

“The wallet will not be tied only to the credit institution which first opened it,” Zimin said. He further shared that accessing one’s wallet through another organization would be possible but after certain financial control checks.

“In our view, this really increases accessibility and lowers ‘payment slavery’.”

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