Belarus Actively Developing CBDC Platform on Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain
Belarus is at the forefront of financial innovation as it takes significant strides towards introducing its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the digital Belarusian ruble. In collaboration with the Center for Banking Technologies, the National Bank of Belarus is leveraging the open Hyperledger Fabric blockchain network to develop a robust platform for this digital currency.
According to the Ekonomicheskaya Gazeta, a local newspaper, the development of the digital ruble’s infrastructure commenced this month, with the National Bank actively expanding its team by recruiting skilled professionals, including programmers. These professionals will be crucial in shaping the core platform and designing innovative financial services tailored for the CBDC.
The National Bank of Belarus Initiates Digital Ruble Project on Hyperledger Fabric
The platform’s foundation will be built on the open-source Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. Job openings for backend developers with knowledge of Hyperledger Fabric and Linux, along with experience in creating smart contracts, have been posted on the official website of the Center of Bank Technologies.
The decision to introduce the digital ruble was discussed at an extended meeting of the board of the National Bank, where Deputy Chairman Dmitry Kalechits highlighted the project as “one of the significant areas of development in the payment sector.”
Notably, the digital ruble represents a new form of the Belarusian ruble issued by the state as a cryptocurrency. This move aligns with the broader trend of central bank digital currency (CBDC) exploration in various countries.
The National Bank of Belarus sees the technology behind the digital ruble emission as having particular relevance in cross-border payments. Similar efforts have been observed in other countries, including Russia, where the digital ruble is undergoing testing in real transactions.
The growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and the desire to maintain control over transactions are key motivations for introducing CBDCs. Additionally, the prospect of using digital currencies to navigate financial flows in the face of sanctions has heightened interest in countries like Russia and Belarus.
Additionally, CBDCs are viewed as a strategic response to sanctions, providing countries with a means to establish interstate financial flows that can persist even under sanctions.
The National Bank of Belarus Advances with the Launch of the Digital Ruble Project
Deputy Chairman Dmitry Kalechits emphasized the strategic significance of the digital Belarusian ruble project, positioning it as a cornerstone of advancement in the payment sector. Belarus aspires to position the digital ruble as a key player in cross-border transactions, contributing to the broader agenda of reducing reliance on traditional currencies, particularly the US dollar.
The National Bank of Belarus had previously announced a CBDC pilot in April 2023, and the final decision on the CBDC was expected to be made “at the level of the head of the state” by the end of the same year. Belarus intensified its CBDC efforts in 2023, with the CBDC experiment targeting a select group of participants, including commercial banks and individuals.
Chairman of the National Bank, Pavel Kallaur, highlights the significance of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) as a “third form of money.” He described the digital ruble as akin to other forms of “non-cash money,” but with the added capability of being available offline and online. Kallaur emphasized that cross-border payments are a particularly interesting aspect of CBDC technology.
In 2023, Kallaur expressed the country’s readiness to adapt its system to integrate with digital currencies introduced by other nations. The goal is to ensure that Belarusian citizens and companies receive a high level of service in a cross-border digital currency environment.