Ripple Teams with National Bank of Georgia for Economic Digitalization

Ripple is expanding its collaboration with the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) to explore and implement digitalization strategies for the Georgian economy. 

Meanwhile, this partnership aims to leverage advanced financial technologies to enhance the country’s financial system’s efficiency, inclusivity, and transparency.

Natia Turnava, currently serving as the acting governor of the NBG, and Varlam Ebanoidze, the head of the bank’s Financial and Supervisory Technology Development Department, have recently met with James Wallis of Ripple. The meeting considered possible areas of interaction in the field of financial technologies and digitalization. At this meeting, Wallis also presented Alistair Brown from EPAM Systems, Ripple partner and a firm that operates within the digital sphere.

Wallis expressed his enthusiasm, stating, 

“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.”

Building on Previous Collaborations

This new partnership is in a way an extension of the previous one between Ripple and NBG. Ripple was earlier chosen to be the technological provider for the NBG’s pilot CBDC called the digital lari. The pilot project that started in the last quarter of 2023 seeks to integrate CBDC in different segments, such as public services, commerce, and retail.

Thus, the partnership between Ripple and NBG is anticipated to help Georgia’s financial sector integrate with blockchain technology. The partnership also illustrates Georgia’s efforts in the process of economic modernization and the development of a new financial infrastructure that incorporates the latest developments in the field of fintech.

EPAM Systems’ Role in the Digital Transformation

EPAM Systems, headquartered in Newtown, Pennsylvania, brings extensive expertise in software engineering services, digital platform engineering, and digital product design. The inclusion of EPAM Systems in the partnership emphasizes the importance of integrating advanced fintech solutions to support Georgia’s digital transformation efforts.

During the meeting, Alistair Brown, representing EPAM Systems, was introduced to NBG officials, further solidifying the technological and operational collaboration between the parties. EPAM’s involvement is expected to provide valuable insights and support in the development and implementation of the digital lari initiative.

Ripple’s Global Involvement in CBDC Projects

Georgia is not the only country working with Ripple on CBDC development and related integrations. Ripple has been actively involved in CBDC pilots in several other nations, including Colombia, Bhutan, Palau, and Montenegro. Ripple’s ongoing commitment to supporting global CBDC initiatives was reinforced by a 23-page white paper published in late 2023. The paper emphasized the necessity of CBDCs to facilitate asset tokenization and the transformation of tangible assets into digital tokens stored on the blockchain.

While the development of CBDCs offers numerous potential benefits, such as increased financial inclusion and efficiency, some critics have expressed concerns about potential drawbacks, including privacy issues and government surveillance.

The partnership between Ripple and the NBG represents a strategic step towards modernizing Georgia’s financial sector. By leveraging Ripple’s expertise in blockchain technology and EPAM Systems’ proficiency in digital solutions, Georgia aims to create a more efficient and transparent financial system.

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