Ahead of a planned pilot test in January, a large number of Russians are opposed to receiving their salaries in the digital ruble. According to a new survey conducted by local recruiter Headhunter, almost 41% of Russians are unwilling to accept their salary in a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Another 48% are uncertain about the prospect, while the remaining 11% are agreeable to the idea. Over 3,000 participants submitted their responses to the survey.
In June, the Central Bank of Russia announced a pilot project geared towards the adoption of CBDC. The project will see participation from 12 banking institutions, through which 87% of the citizens receive salaries. Participants include Sberbank, VTB, Ak Bars Bank, Alfa, Dom.rf bank, Gazprombank, Tinkoff, PSB, Rosbank, SKB-bank, Soyuz bank, and TKB bank.
Initially, the trial would test the issuance of the digital ruble and some related operations. Later on, however, its scope would be expanded to account for various transactions and a larger number of participants. It is unclear whether retail customers would take part in the trial.
The results of the new survey indicate that people in Russia are split on the implementation of CBDC. Many of them would rather not risk their salaries to test the project. Even those who are amenable to receiving payments in the new currency are divided between partial and full-fledged payments.
According to several experts interviewed by Russian news website Izvestia, the central bank has a lot of work to complete before it rolls out the digital ruble. In particular, the bank must deal with information security and cost of implementation issues to assure a smooth transition from fiat money to digital currency. Some in the industry, like Dmitry Spiridonov, CEO of CloudPayments, have also warned against the potential impact of CBDCs on the liquidity of commercial credit institutions.