Can Bitcoin Beat CBDCs? Russia Seeks Alternative to SWIFT

• Russia is developing and rolling out its national digital currency, a Digital Ruble.
• The Russian Central Bank Executive believes that the integration of CBDCs could replace SWIFT as a financial network messaging system.
• Despite the growing CBDC sentiment, experts believe Bitcoin might be better for cross-border transactions.

Russian Central Bank Working on Digital Ruble

The Bank of Russia is pushing for the development and rollout of its national digital currency, the Digital Ruble. This CBDC would possess cross-border features to facilitate international trade, and it will utilize a hybrid formula integrating centralized and blockchain solutions. The government will not pay salaries with this digital currency in order to stimulate usage.

CBDCs Pose Threat to SWIFT

First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia Olga Skorobogatova believes that the integration of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) has the potential of replacing SWIFT, a popular financial network messaging system. This would mean that payments and other information on these CBDCs would be carried out on another settlement infrastructure entirely different from the one currently utilized and only require an agreement between interested countries per its operational modalities.

Russia’s Search for Payment Alternatives

Russia has been seeking alternative payment options to evade Western sanctions since its invasion of Ukraine. At one point, they were considering accepting payments in Bitcoin (BTC) for their oil and gas sales from “friendly” countries like China and Turkey; however, they are now focused on creating their own digital currency – a digital Ruble – instead.

Bitcoin vs CBDCs

Despite the growing CBDC sentiment among nations, some experts still believe that Bitcoin might be better suited for international payments due to its decentralization factor compared to centralized banking systems like SWIFT or even CBDCs themselves.


Although Russia is continuing to move forward with their plans to develop a digital ruble as an alternative payment option in order to bypass US sanctions, there may still be potential advantages associated with using Bitcoin over traditional methods or even newly developed CBDC systems due to its decentralized nature. Only time will tell which form of payment will prove more useful in global commerce moving forward.