Rise of Digital Currencies Could Render SWIFT Payments Network Obsolete, Says Central Bank of Russia

The rise of digital assets could radically transform the way money moves around the world, according to Russia’s central bank.

First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), Olga Skorobogatova, says a total of about 30 central banks are exploring digital currencies, with several set to launch in the next five to seven years, reports Russia Today.

Skorobogatova says the digital version of fiat currency could be so efficient that the international payments network SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications), which currently has about 11,000 financial institutions and sends over 33 million transactions per day, may no longer be needed.

“Then we can deal with direct integration issues. In this case, SWIFT it may not be necessary, because it will be a different kind of technological interaction.”

Russia is currently developing a digital version of the ruble. According to the CBR, the digital ruble must come with simplicity, high speed, high reliability, low cost, as well as security for online and offline payments.

An official launch date has not been set, but tests are expected to begin as early as next year.

Russian leaders say the digital currency could be used for international remittances once other nations launch digital versions of their own currencies.

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