Bank of Russia plans to take fees for CBDC transactions: Report

The Russian central bank is allegedly preparing to charge charges for digital ruble transactions as it continues to reveal more details about its planned digital currency.

According to reports, the rates for Russia’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) transactions would be cheaper than those for wire transfers, according to Kirill Pronin, director of the Bank of Russia’s financial technology department.

According to the local website Prime, Pronin explained that the CBDC transactions’ charges will not be greater than those used in Russia’s Faster Payments System (FPS), a program that allows people to make immediate interbank transfers.

In 2019, the FPS system was created, enabling users to send up to 100,000 rubles ($1,360) without paying any fees. For transfers beyond this amount, the system charges a 0.5 percent fee of the total amount sent, but no more than 1,500 rubles ($20) each transaction.

The Russian central bank aims to start pilot testing for a digital ruble in early 2022, as previously reported. Digital currency is intended to function as a third form of money, alongside cash and non-cash, with one of its primary benefits being the possible cost reduction of payment services.

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Elvira Nabiullina, the governor of the Bank of Russia, argues that governments should use CBDCs to supplant private cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC). Speaking before the Russian State Duma on Thursday, the official allegedly stated that a “responsible government should not drive the acceptance” of cryptocurrency.

Nabiullina slammed cryptocurrency for being purportedly anonymous and unbacked by anybody, claiming:

“As private currencies claiming to be money, we retain a highly unfavorable view on cryptocurrencies.” However, because people require alternatives, we should work on this through our projects. As I already stated, we should build the digital ruble.”

While the Bank of Russia has maintained a tough stance on cryptocurrency, a number of ministries and government-linked institutions have been looking into it, with the Duma forming a working group to oversee Russia’s booming crypto mining business.

Private cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, “may operate as a unit of account,” but they are “extremely unstable.”