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Most Russians Wary of Digital Ruble, Survey Finds – Blow for Moscow’s CBDC?

A majority of Russians express skepticism or indifference towards the digital ruble, Russia’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), according to a recent survey.

BankInform, a media and information service provider, conducted the poll, in which it sought the opinions of its subscribers about the CBDC.

Currently, the Central Bank is testing the coin in practical situations with a group it describes as a “select set of users.”

Additionally, fifteen commercial banks in Russia are involved in the trial, accompanied by a select few small to medium-sized retailers.

According to the media outlet’s findings, a mere 13% of those polled expressed an intent to use the digital ruble, seeing it as a gateway to new possibilities.

Meanwhile, 34% of the participants indicated that, while they were intrigued by the advent of this new form of the ruble, they did not plan to utilize the token.

Furthermore, 21% of respondents voiced complete disinterest in the digital ruble.

Given these results, it’s evident that the Central Bank has a significant public relations challenge ahead to gain the trust and acceptance of the Russian populace.

According to the media outlet:

“A particularly interesting finding from our survey is that 32% of participants selected the option stating, ‘The digital ruble is some sort of scam. People should be wary.’”

BankInform hypothesized that this choice was predominantly made by those “less familiar with the concept of the digital ruble.”

However, the outlet stressed that attributing these sentiments solely to a lack of knowledge would be overly simplistic.

They elaborated:

“Merely enhancing awareness won’t necessarily erase these doubts.”

They further posited that their “limited” survey underscores the “necessity for a comprehensive research initiative, which has yet to be undertaken.”

Russia’s Digital Ruble – Problems for Moscow’s CBDC?

Recent revelations come on the heels of statements made earlier this week by the country’s leading banking association. The association stated that the public was “highly skeptical” of the digital ruble.

In addressing their concerns, the group penned a letter to the Central Bank, seeking clarification on various aspects surrounding the digital currency.

Additionally, the association urged the Central Bank to implement “an explicit prohibition against coercing citizens into creating a digital ruble wallet.”

On the business front, Russian industry leaders have voiced varied opinions about the expedited rollout of the digital ruble pilot in Moscow.

However, the overarching sentiment from the Kremlin and the bank suggests a belief that a Russian CBDC could facilitate Moscow and its allied nations in moving away from the U.S. dollar in trade transactions, negating the necessity for broader cryptoasset integration.

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