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‘All Russians’ Will Be Able to Use Digital Ruble in 2024 – Moscow

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
A woman with a red purse counts Russian ruble banknotes.
Source: petert2/Adobe

The Russian government wants to fast-track the launch of the digital ruble – and now claims that all citizens will be able to use the CBDC in 2024.

The Central Bank has previously claimed that Russians may have to wait until 2027 for a full nationwide rollout.

But in recent weeks, senior government officials have suggested that they favor a quicker launch for the CBDC.

RBC quoted Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as stating that “in 2024, all Russians will be able to experience” using digital ruble wallets “for payments.”

Siluanov has been bullish on CBDC adoption of late. He has said his ministry will pilot Treasury payments early next year.

The minister said Moscow could use the coin to make welfare payments and issue government subsidies.

Siluanov doubled down on his recent CBDC-related statements, claiming that digital ruble “technology” was “continuing to develop fast.” He said:

“Next year, I am sure that we will all be able to try to open a digital wallet and make payments in a new currency. This is the same ruble. It can also be exchanged for regular cash and non-cash rubles. […] This is another [incarnation] of the strong Russian ruble that we all know.”

‘All’ Russians Can ‘Start Using Digital Ruble’ in 2024

The ministry previously hinted that it would look to experiment with “marked” digital ruble-powered child benefits and pensions in 2024.

Again, the minister reiterated these sentiments in his latest statements. He told attendees at the Russia exhibition and forum:

“The digital ruble [will let us] know how money is used. [If coins are distributed] as child benefit payments, they will only be spent on childcare and for no other purposes. There is no place for fraud and misuse here, which sometimes happens otherwise.”

Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov sits at a table.
Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. (Source: [CC BY 4.0])

The Central Bank has been more guarded when it comes to putting a timeframe on a CBDC rollout.

The bank has thus far shied away from claims that the digital ruble could be used to make cross-border payments.

Until very recently, such bold claims were the unique preserve of more bullish senior government figures, who have even spoken of possible digital ruble-digital yuan interoperability.

But the bank is now starting to show signs that it too believes its coin could be used outside the country.

On December 7, the bank’s Governor Elvira Nabiullina told a banking forum that “digital finance tools” – possibly including the CBDC – had “great prospects” in the international payments space.

In January, Siluanov stated that overseas traders and nations who want to trade with Russians in crypto were welcome to do so if coins were more “convenient” for them.