National Bank of Georgia Chooses Ripple as Technology Partner for Digital Lari Pilot Project

The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) has announced a groundbreaking partnership with Ripple, a leader in enterprise blockchain and crypto solutions, to explore the potential of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) through their Digital Lari (GEL) pilot project. Ripple emerged victorious following a rigorous selection process involving nine shortlisted companies, and their success marks a significant step forward in the adoption of blockchain technology in the public sector.

The Digital Lari pilot project aims to leverage Ripple’s innovative CBDC technology to assess its practical applications and potential benefits for the Georgian public, businesses, and retail users. The project represents a pioneering move by the National Bank of Georgia, demonstrating its commitment to exploring the advantages of blockchain technology in a bid to digitize the country’s economy.

In the official announcement made by NBG, the bank cited several reasons for selecting Ripple as its technology partner. These included Ripple’s “deep understanding of the project’s purposes and use cases,” as well as their unwavering commitment to the project’s success, sustainable business continuity, clear project development roadmap, and a gradual deployment approach to use cases. Additionally, the NBG recognized Ripple’s extensive experience in conducting real-life pilot project deployments, encompassing everything from primary CBDC digital infrastructure to smart contracts and tokenization.

Ripple’s CBDC solution, the Ripple CBDC Platform, received acclaim for its ability to provide an end-to-end solution for central banks, financial institutions, and governments. This platform empowers these entities to efficiently mint, manage, transact, and redeem CBDCs. It operates on the XRP Ledger (XRPL), known for its energy efficiency and open-source nature, further enhancing its appeal.

Natia Turnava, Acting Governor and Member of the Board of the National Bank of Georgia, expressed her satisfaction with the choice of Ripple as the technology partner, highlighting their technical excellence and expertise. She stated, “We look forward to moving ahead with Ripple, and we are grateful to all other participating companies for their interest and efforts in the selection process.”

James Wallis, VP of Central Bank Engagements at Ripple, praised the NBG for taking a global lead in exploring the potential of blockchain technology for the country’s digital future. He noted, “Our partnership with NBG demonstrates our commitment to driving innovation and efficiency, ultimately empowering public and private entities to unlock the full potential of secure and transparent blockchain transactions.”

This partnership with the National Bank of Georgia marks an important milestone for Ripple, which has also announced five pilot programs with governments and central banks in other countries, including Bhutan, Palau, Montenegro, Colombia, and Hong Kong. Ripple is actively engaging with over 20 countries worldwide, demonstrating the growing interest and adoption of blockchain technology in the global financial sector.

The Digital Lari pilot project is expected to set a precedent for the transformative applications of blockchain technology within the public sector. As the National Bank of Georgia and Ripple embark on this groundbreaking collaboration, it represents a significant step forward in the adoption of CBDCs and the utilization of blockchain technology on a global scale. The outcome of this partnership has the potential to shape the future of financial innovation in Georgia and beyond.

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