CBDC projects are becoming increasingly popular among countries starting programmes to experiment with their own digital currency.

In Asia, China has been pursuing its plan for some time and is close to making it official.

South Korea started testing its national digital currency in July. The Central Bank has invited several commercial banks operating in the country to participate in the tests, according to local media reports.

Thailand also recently started a CBDC project study. The Central Bank of the Asian country, however, reiterated that it will not issue a national digital retail currency.

In Europe, from March 2020 until the end of last year, the French Central Bank ran nine experiments that helped demonstrate how CBDCs could be used for wholesale payments. These involved cross-border and cross-currency payments as well as the settlement of securities.

Despite the conflict in Ukraine, the Russian Central Bank‘s project is also moving forward. It revealed that it has started testing the digital ruble, which will be introduced with new features starting in 2023 and will be used as a real currency for payments between individuals and businesses by 2023.

The Bank said it wanted to proceed with caution, given the initiative’s scope and the historical moment, with the aim of making the digital currency usable by individuals, businesses and the government.

So much so that only in 2024, the Central Bank would like to connect

“credit institutions to the digital ruble platform and increase the number of payment and transaction options available using smart contracts”.

The Bank believes that it takes time to give market participants the opportunity to adapt to the new conditions and would like to extend its use outside the country as well, cooperating with friendly Central Banks so that the digital ruble can facilitate international transactions.

This is what was decided on the digital ruble, while as far as digital currencies are concerned, last month Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning cryptocurrencies as a payment option in the country and confirming the ruble as the only official payment method in the country.