60% of Russian are open to hold their funds in digital ruble
A recent poll conducted by the Saint Petersburg Exchange and the Russian Trading System (RTS) has shed light on the sentiments surrounding Russia’s proposed central bank digital currency (CBDC). The survey, which gathered responses from more than 2,000 participants aged 18 to 65, offers insights into Russian attitudes toward the digital ruble.
The survey revealed that 58.3% of respondents are open to the idea of holding their funds in a central bank-backed crypto currency. However, when factors like trust and financial security are considered, this desire diminishes as only 17% of participants said they are ready to entrust amounts exceeding 20,000 rubles (approximately $212) to the digital ruble.
The survey showed that while 23.8% are comfortable allocating funds between 5,000 and 20,000 rubles ($53 to $212), sentiments diverge further. About 9% would consider storing sums ranging from 20,000 to 50,000 rubles ($212 to $529), and 2% are open to going up to 100,000 rubles ($1,058). Interestingly, only 2.4% were ready to go all in and store all their money in the central bank digital currency.
As with any technological shift, there are obstacles to full-scale adoption. The survey identified key concerns that hindered widespread acceptance. Around 22% of respondents cited a lack of comprehensive understanding of the technology behind the new coin as a major barrier. Additionally, 21% of participants voiced concerns related to cybertheft and potential system failures.
Excluding Sberbank and Tinkoff, Bank of Russia (BoR) kicked off testing operations for the CBDC project on August 15th. The pilot tests will involve the participation of 13 banks and a select group of their clients.
Olga Skorobogatova, the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia, said that the pilot operations using genuine digital rubles will enable a comprehensive evaluation of the CBDC platform’s functionality in an industrial context. It will also facilitate improving essential procedures in collaboration with clients, potential process adjustments, and the assurance of a user-friendly client experience.
Skorobogatova further explained that the bank’s strategy involves gradually introducing the digital ruble for widespread use based on the outcomes of trials involving all operational aspects of the digital ruble. She expects that by 2025, citizens and businesses will have the ability to actively utilize the national digital currency upon request.
During the initial phase of the pilot program, the focus will be on refining fundamental processes. This includes the establishment and funding of digital ruble accounts (digital wallets), digital ruble transactions between individuals, simple automated payments, and utilizing QR codes for transactions involving purchases and services.