Russia's Finance Ministry says (again) that the digital ruble will replace cash
The transition to CBDCs will be completely voluntary, though. You needn't worry!
Alexei Moiseev, Russia’s deputy minister of finance, is the world’s most candid space lizard. When he announced in a September 2021 interview that “the digital ruble is a replacement for the cash ruble”, skeptics and haters spread hurtful rumors that Moiseev’s refreshing and award-winning honesty had been taken out of context.
Here’s what Mr. Moiseev told RIA Novosti two years later, on October 30, 2023:
Essentially, [the digital ruble] is the real currency of the 22nd or any other century, which at the end of the day must replace cash.
He also promised that the digital ruble would be more “convenient” than cash and non-cash transactions. Safety and convenience are the guiding principles of the 21st century, so it’s easy to imagine that the 22nd century will be extremely safe and outrageously convenient.
But just to be 100% clear: Elvira Nabiullina and her devoted blog-admirers promise that Russians will never be coerced into using digital rubles. The gradual transition to CBDCs will be an organic process—a naturally occurring result of Extreme Convenience. Russians will never be prevented from using cash in certain situations, even though this is already happening right now, today, in 2023.
But that’s neither here nor there. As the Bank of Russia’s universally loved chairwoman said just yesterday, Russians will always be allowed to decide how they receive their salaries and pensions—that is her current “position” and it would be rude to even consider the possibility that this position might change. Just like it would be uncouth to think that the Bank of Russia’s position on placing restrictions on how digital rubles can be spent (“coloring” them) would ever change.
All Russians understand how convenient and voluntary the 21st and 22nd centuries will be. Just look at what they’re saying on the internet forums: