Elvira Nabiullina, governor of the Russian central bank, has said that a digital currency pilot project could be launched by the end of 2021.
As reported by Russian news agency TASS, Nabiullina said during an online press conference on Friday that the central bank is currently collecting public feedback on whether to issue a digital ruble. If a decision is made, the central bank will pilot digital currency with "a limited number of users," said Nabiullina.
"We consider this kind of piloting possible somewhere by the end of next year," she said, adding that the digital ruble project is "promising" for the economy.
Nabiullina also noted that if digital ruble is issued, it will not replace cash and non-cash or digital payment options. It will be the "third form of money," and citizens and businesses will be free to choose what is more convenient for them, she said.
One of the main goals of the digital ruble project is to ensure "maximum confidentiality," said Nabiullina. She explained that digital currency won't be anonymous like cash, but "confidentiality will be strengthened."
The public consultation on the possible launch of the digital ruble is open until December 31.