Russia to Trial Digital Ruble Settlements for Real Estate Deals
The Central Bank of Russia and participating commercial banks want to test various types of payments with the digital ruble, the Russian press reported. The plan is to experiment with smart contracts and transactions related to real estate and crypto asset purchases.
Bank of Russia to Launch Smart Contracts on Digital Ruble Platform
Russia’s central bank intends to start implementing smart contracts with the digital ruble next April, the daily Izvestia unveiled this week, quoting the regulator. Until then, the new incarnation of the national fiat will be put to the test in various scenarios, including automated payments and other transactions between individual users and businesses, like real estate acquisitions.
Bank of Russia finalized the prototype platform of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) in December, 2021. In January of this year, a dozen Russian banks joined the pilot project. At its first stage, participants are issuing digital rubles, setting up wallets for banks and citizens, and making transfers between them. Smart contracts will be presented during the second stage of the pilot.
Smart contracts facilitate the execution of contract terms without involving a third party as a guarantor, Promsvyazbank (PSB) explained. The money is kept in a smart contract wallet on the digital ruble platform and sent to the seller’s wallet as soon as the property rights are transferred. Rosbank added that the technology can be employed for targeted financing of a real estate purchase by a lender.
The digital ruble smart contracts will allow large businesses to carry out complex transactions, Vneshtorgbank (VTB) elaborated for the article. The bank, which is also participating in the pilot, told Izvestia that it plans to begin testing the purchase of digital financial assets (DFAs) with digital rubles in September.
DFAs is the current legal term describing cryptocurrencies and tokens in Russia. A new bill “On Digital Currency,” designed to expand the regulatory framework for crypto assets, will be reviewed by Russian lawmakers this fall. Financial and technological restrictions imposed on Russia over its war in Ukraine may give an impulse to the digital ruble project as well, experts in Moscow say.
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Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.