Russia considers issuing a national cryptocurrency,

Russia will have a prototype of the digital rouble platform in early 2022 and will pilot-test it next year before making a final decision on the country’s digital currency launch, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said on Tuesday.

Nabiullina said the decision could be made in May or June if Russia was ready for this.

“We are at the stage now where we are considering our digital currency, but that is only the first step,” she told reporters. “We will have a prototype by early 2022, and then we will start testing it.”

Russia may also consider issuing a national cryptocurrency, Nabiullina said.

“As regards the possibility of issuing an analog of bitcoin, in my opinion, it is likely to be issued but already in a format that will meet the Central Bank’s requirements,” Nabiullina added. “That is to say, if we are talking about some cryptocurrency, then this is only possible when it fully meets the requirements of the Central Bank regarding consumer rights protection.”

Nabiullina said digital money would not be used for payments to individuals for privacy reasons.