Russian lawmaker warns digital ruble could oust traditional banks

abdelaziz Fathi

Russian lawmaker Anatoly Aksakov, the leader of Russia’s State Duma Banking Committee, believes that the digital ruble will eventually make banks less necessary as blockchain technology develops.


The senior banking lawmaker envisions a future where blockchain and the digital ruble could diminish the role of banks. Currently, regulations limit the use of digital rubles for bank deposits and loans, with spending and top-up restrictions in place.

“My personal opinion is that after some time we will make a decision that deposits can be placed at the Central Bank and loans can be issued, since life requires it. Because it will be faster and, perhaps, more efficient. Decisions will be made by a robot – a person is not needed there. Perhaps a bank is not needed as an institution, since the digital ruble will be very much automated,” said Aksakov.

Blockchain technology, which underpins cryptocurrencies, is gaining acceptance among institutions. Additionally, the central banks worldwide, including Russia, are exploring central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as alternatives to cryptocurrencies.

However, there are concerns about how CBDCs might impact the traditional banking system. Spain’s deputy central bank governor, Margarita Delgado, said last month that the European Central Bank (ECB) is taking a cautious approach when considering the launch of a digital euro. Before making a final decision, the ECB intends to assess how the digital euro might affect the banking system within the euro zone.

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.

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