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Russian Fintech Startups Join Fast-moving Digital Ruble Pilot

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Russian Fintech Startups Join Fast-moving Digital Ruble Pilot

Tim Alper

Last updated:

| 2 min read

Russian Fintech Startups Join Digital Ruble Pilot

Russian fintech firms have begun joining the country’s digital ruble pilot, as the Central Bank looks to widen the scope of its CBDC project.

Per the Russian media outlet Cnews, SimbirSoft and Sinara Lab will help the Central Bank and its banking partners “implement the digital ruble software products in online and mobile banking applications.”

Russian Fintech Startups Join Digital Ruble Pilot


The move appears to indicate that Moscow may be taking cues from the Chinese central bank’s CBDC playbook.

The digital yuan has been successfully integrated with the banking platforms of several state-owned banks, as well as neobanking firms.

Sinara Lab is a fintech-focused IT offshoot of the Sinara banking group. It works with clients including Sinara Bank, Gazenergobank, and the SME-focused Delobank.

The firm is headquartered in Yekaterinburg, one of the 11 Russian cities currently piloting the CBDC.

It focuses primarily on remote banking systems. But it will work with the Central Bank on “integrating” bank apps with the digital ruble.

SimbrSoft, meanwhile, is headquartered in Ulyanovsk. It specializes in app development, and has developed mobile apps for financial industry firms.

In its early days, the firm worked with clients including the Japanese central bank, the Bank of Japan.

Russian fintech firms’ inclusion in the CBDC pilot suggests that the Central Bank could well be looking to develop its own app for the digital RUB.

The People’s Bank of China has launched its own digital yuan app, and Moscow may well be looking to do likewise.

Russian Firms Eager to Join CBDC Pilot


However, officials from the firms claimed that their focus was currently on private-sector CBDC adoption.

Sinara Lab officials claimed that using its digital ruble adoption products can help banks cut down their adoption timeframe “from an average of 6-9 to 2-4 months.”

The SimbirSoft Chief Operating Officer Dmitry Peterson said that his firm and Sinara Lab would be collaborating. He explained:

“Adopting the digital ruble is a technically complex project for any bank. Banks need to build protocols in accordance with the requirements of the Central Bank.”

Peterson concluded:

“As part of this partnership, we will help Sinara Lab […] to achieve a common goal – the effective implementation of the digital ruble in the [Russian] banking sector.”

In February, the Central Bank announced that 17 more banks would join a “second phase” of the pilot, with a nationwide rollout slated for 2025.

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