The chairman of the Russian Central Bank said that the regulator sees high demand among commercial banks for the digital form of the ruble due to lower prices for banking operations and the ability to track transactions.

The head of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Elvira Nabiullina spoke at a meeting of the presidium of the United Russia political faction in the State Duma, which took place on May 24. According to her, the Central Bank sees the demand for a new digital form of the national currency due to a number of advantages that it offers.

“We believe that there is a demand for the national digital currency. It can be integrated. The advantages are a low cost of operations, ability to track transactions, high level of protection. We are preparing a prototype of the digital ruble, we want to start testing next year,” she said.

Nabiullina said that 2021 will be devoted to the development of the digital ruble prototype, and its testing will start on different groups and different types of operations in 2022.

Russian commercial banks VTB, Russian Standard and Promsvyazbank expressed their readiness to take part in testing the digital ruble.

Vadim Kulik, Deputy President and Chairman of the Board of VTB Bank, said that it will take about two years to create an infrastructure for the implementation of the digital currency in Russia.

"The emergence of cryptocurrencies, bitcoin has created preconditions when countries, sooner or later, will be forced to create digital national currencies, whether they like it or not," said the Deputy Dean for Research at the Faculty of Information Technology and Big Data Analysis (IT&ADB) of the Financial University under the Russian Government Anton Losev, speaking at the International Economic Forum of the CIS member states "CIS-30 years", which took place in Moscow on March 11-12. According to him, the development of alternative payment systems will increase the turnover of the money supply, increase overall economic growth and overcome most of the barriers at the national and supranational levels.