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Russian Corporations Using Digital Ruble as CBDC Pilot Gathers Pace

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
Two golden coins intended to represent the Russian digital ruble.
Source: Tatiana_Gracheva/Adobe

Russian corporations are starting to make use of the digital ruble, the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Per a report from SPB IT RU, the state-run Sirius Innovation Science and Technology Center has opened a corporate digital ruble wallet.

The center has already used its wallet to “successfully conduct” business-related operations.

The center is a state-run IT research and training facility that answers to the President’s Office.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the Sirius Innovation Science and Technology Center in 2018.
President Vladimir Putin visits the Sirius Innovation Science and Technology Center in 2018. (Source: Kremlin)

The media outlet explained that the center used the VTB Bank-developed remote online business banking platform to create a wallet.

The center then used its wallet to make some of the country’s first customer-to-business (C2B) payments.

More Russian Firms Set to Use Digital Ruble?

The Sirius move comes a few weeks after Rostelecom, the state-operated telecoms and digital services provider, announced it had also opened a digital ruble wallet.

The telecoms firm said it had also used the VTB platform to open its wallet, and had also used this to conduct C2B business.

Cnews quoted Sergei Anokhin, Rostelecom’s First Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, as stating:

“As a digital partner of VTB Bank, we were one of the first [firms] to test the functionality of the digital ruble. Our first operations with the digital ruble have been successful.”

Alexander Botsiev, the VTB Senior Vice President, said:

“The interface of our VTB remote banking system allows firms to effectively work with this new form of national currency.”

A Sirius official said:

“We are pleased to cooperate with the Central Bank and other parties in the development and implementation of [the CBDC].”

A branch of VTB Bank in the Russian city of Nakhodka.
A VTB Bank branch in the Russian city of Nakhodka. (Source: Peruanec [CC BY-SA 3.0])

In early September, a beauty parlor in the city of Yekaterinburg became one of the first Russian merchants to accept a payment made using the digital RUB – using the DeloBank baking platform.

Another bank, PSB, earlier claimed that it had helped one of its clients “open a digital wallet” and use an app-generated QR code to “make a payment for services.”

Some 600 citizens in 11 cities are currently making use of the coin, with a slew of banks set to join the pilot early next year.