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Ripple Collaborates with National Bank of Georgia to Digitize the Economy

Jun 10, 2024 at 03:06

Ripple is expanding its partnership with the Republic of Georgia, focusing on digitalizing the local economy with the National Bank of Georgia (NBG).

Ripple, a major cryptocurrency company, is strengthening its relationship with the Republic of Georgia by working with the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) to explore ways to digitize the local economy.

Natia Turnava, the acting governor of the NBG, and Varlam Ebanoidze, head of the bank’s financial and supervisory technology development department, recently met with Ripple executive James Wallis to discuss enhancing cooperation in financial technology and digitalization.

The Georgian central bank announced the meeting in a LinkedIn post on June 8.

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During the meeting, Wallis, Ripple’s vice president of central bank engagements, introduced Georgian officials to Alistair Brown, a representative from Ripple’s partner, EPAM Systems.

“It was an honor to be back in Tbilisi and to introduce Alistair Brown from our partner EPAM Systems to NBG Acting Governor Natia Turnava,” Wallis stated.

EPAM, based in Newtown, Pennsylvania, specializes in software engineering services, digital platform engineering, and digital product design. EPAM stands for “Effective Programming for America.”

Building on an Existing Partnership

The NBG’s official statement highlighted that the meeting focused on exploring potential collaboration avenues to digitalize Georgia’s economy.

This new collaboration builds on the existing partnership between the NBG and Ripple, where Ripple serves as the technological partner for the NBG’s pilot Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) project, the digital lari.

In September 2023, the NBG announced plans to advance CBDC research, inviting nine companies, including Ripple Labs, to participate in the digital lari project. Ripple Labs was subsequently selected as the official technology partner for developing the digital lari.

Ripple’s Global CBDC Initiatives

Georgia’s central bank is not the only one collaborating with Ripple on CBDC development. Ripple Labs is also involved in CBDC pilots in countries like Colombia, Bhutan, Palau, Montenegro, and others.

In late 2023, Ripple reiterated its commitment to global CBDC development in a 23-page white paper, stating, “CBDCs are needed to support the most significant positive impacts of asset tokenization, an increasingly targeted mechanism for transforming tangible assets into digital tokens stored on the blockchain.”

While companies like Ripple are supporting CBDC development, some critics have raised concerns about potential drawbacks, such as privacy issues and government surveillance.

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