Central bank digital currencies are the main topic in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space in 2020. In the future, they may even become competition for the dominance of the international payment system SWIFT.
This is what follows from report RT quoting a Russian central bank official who commented on the ongoing development of CBDC in Russia.
The first deputy governor of the CBR, Olga Skorobogatowa, revealed that 30 financial regulators were working on the Russian ‘digital ruble’. The central bank has estimated that other large countries could launch their own sovereign CBDCs in the next five to seven years.
Then we will be able to deal with the issues of direct integration. In this case, SWIFT may not be necessary as it will be a different type of technological interaction.
– said Skorobogatova during the online meeting last week.
The sanctions force Russia to look for alternatives
RT’s article also focuses on Russia’s recent efforts to develop its own financial network called SPFS. It is a response to the imminent international sanctions that would disconnect Russia from the SWIFT system.
SWIFT powers a large proportion of global payments – some 11,000 financial institutions in over 200 countries. Russia has been working on the development of its own CBDC for some time, which may already be tested in Crimea in early 2021.
Another CoinDesk report from early December included detailed information on how the Russian central bank consulted with industry representatives who would work on or be affected by the CBDC issue.
The deputy governor of the Central Bank – Sergei Swietsov, made it clear then that the digital ruble would be the only digital currency perceived as legal tender.
We will prevent the issuance of any new payment tools. If there is a need for a cryptocurrency for functionality [platformy finansowej], the crypto ruble will be that asset.
– Svetshov said during the meeting.
Some time ago, we reported that VISA published a document exploring the possibilities of using central bank digital currencies (CBDC) in completely off-line environments. Entitled “Towards a Two-Tier Hierarchical Infrastructure: Offline Payment System for Central Bank Digital Currencies”, the document presents an offline payment system proposal that will allow governments to use CBDC even more smoothly.