In recent developments, Ripple Labs and the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) are making significant progress in their exploration of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as the Digital Lari. This partnership, announced on Sunday, is focused on harnessing blockchain technology’s potential to stimulate economic growth and create business value within Georgia.
Ripple’s CBDC platform was selected for this project following a competition that involved the submission of Project Execution Plans (PEPs) by various candidates. Operating on Ripple’s new XRP ledger-based system, this platform offers end-to-end solutions and brings with it extensive experience gained from five global pilot programs. It offers essential features, such as control over the digital currency flow, which are crucial for a central bank digital currency.
The NBG has actively sought assistance from tech and financial firms since May 2021 to develop a CBDC. The bank is adopting a modular approach to enhance retail convenience and interoperability, expecting transformative advancements in blockchain technology utilization. However, a specific launch date for the Digital Lari has not been announced.
Previously, it was disclosed that Ripple Labs and the NBG initiated Georgia’s first CBDC pilot program. This significant step towards digitizing the national currency, Lari (GEL), will utilize Ripple’s CBDC platform to showcase how CBDCs can be efficiently minted, managed, transacted, and redeemed.
Ripple was chosen over nine other contenders due to its profound understanding and commitment to the project. The platform will undergo testing in a live environment for selected use cases during the pilot phase. James Wallis, Vice President of Central Bank Engagements at Ripple, praised the NBG for spearheading the exploration of blockchain technology in the country.