Mobile operators in Russia, Beeline and Megafon, are considering the development of wallets that would link the digital ruble to owners’ mobile numbers. CoinDesk.com reports, citing Russian newspaper Izvestia, that the abovementioned companies expressed their interest in the ways of performing peer-to-peer transactions without financial institutions acting as intermediaries.
A digital ruble is a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) that the Bank of Russia considers issuing. According to the Bank’s website, users will be able to make payments with the digital ruble both online and offline. Moreover, the digital currency will be equal to the Russian ruble.
Last month, a Russian news agency TASS reported on the results of the survey by Otkritie Bank. The survey found that 47% of Russians are open to the idea of using digital rubles for payments. On the other hand, 15% of respondents do not support the idea, according to the source. That is because of the risk of fraud or lack of knowledge about digital currency use.
Several other countries have expressed their interest in the issuance of their own CBDCs, and some have taken their projects to pilot stages. Sweden launched a feasibility review into e-krona in December 2020. Moreover, Turkey is planning to pilot its CBDC in the second half of 2021. China has moved even further with its CBDC, with a recent pilot of a card in digital yuan.