Russia’s finance minister Anton Siluanov praised the advantages of using a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Local news outlet RIA reported on Oct. 29 that Siluanov claimed the digital version of Russia’s fiat currency will reduce transaction costs and improve the transparency of settlements. He said during an interview with local television channel RBC:
“There is a trend in other countries for such developments. Furthermore, the digital ruble reduces transaction costs, labor costs and it will be much cheaper to carry out settlements with it. Another thing to consider in favor of its implementation, of course, is transparency.”
Siluanov said that he hopes that the Central Bank of the Russian Federation will collaborate with the government to pursue CBDC development. While he admitted that he is not sure whether a digital currency will be rolled out, he expressed confidence that pursuing such developments is the best course of action.
Earlier this month, Russia’s central bank announced that it was evaluating issuing a digital currency. As Modern Consensus reported a week ago, the head of the institution said that a pilot program for the digital currency could start next year. Furthermore, he also highlighted that the system will grant its users confidentiality but not anonymity.
CBDC development is a “new battlefield”
As the international competition around CBDC development gets increasingly heated, China’s late September remarks about how the issuance and control of a digital currency is a “new battlefield” appear increasingly fitting. China is one country that seems to be all-in for this new battle, as local authorities already announced that its digital currency is ready and that its acceptance will be mandatory in the country.
Still—surprisingly enough—while China seemed to be hellbent on being the first country to release its CBDC, a small country in the Caribbean just beat it. As Modern Consensus reported in mid-September, The Bahamas announced that its digital currency would be deployed this month and then delivered on the promise about a week ago.