• National Bank of Georgia strides forward in its Digital GEL pilot project, with Ripple Labs under consideration as a technology partner.
  • The Limited Access Live Pilot Environment aims to probe the technological merits and potential applications of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) system.

Diving into the recent updates shared on the next phase of the Digital Lari project by the National Bank of Georgia (NBG), it’s clear that there’s a robust endeavor to modernize financial systems underway. A tweet by Antony Welfare highlights the progress, as he expresses his enthusiasm on being part of this transformative journey.

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According to Welfare’s tweet, the Digital GEL project is advancing to a critical stage. The NBG aims to test the technological efficacy of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) system by initiating a real pilot environment with restricted access. The Bank, after an extensive analysis, has shared a list of nine companies, highlighting the growing impetus in exploring the digital currency realm.

Ripple’s Involvement: A Significant Step

In this unfolding narrative, Ripple Labs emerges as a noteworthy mention among the shortlisted entities for the project’s second testing phase. Antony Welfare, Ripple’s CBDC advisor, shared the news on the X platform, igniting discussions within the crypto sector. The NBG’s statement emphasized the establishment of a “Limited Access Live Pilot Environment” to investigate the CBDC system’s technological capacities through various use cases.

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The Broader Spectrum: Ripple and Global CBDC Endeavours

Beyond the Georgian borders, Ripple Labs is no stranger to the global CBDC landscape. The company’s Vice President for CBDC Engagement, James Wallis, revealed ongoing discussions with approximately 30 countries regarding Ripple’s CBDC solutions. Although not all engagements are public, some countries like the Republic of Palau, Montenegro, Bhutan, Hong Kong, and Colombia are reportedly exploring Ripple’s offerings for their CBDC pilot stages.

The initiative by the NBG underscores a technologically agnostic approach, seeking diverse technological solutions from the shortlisted companies. As the selection stage concludes, a single technology partner will be chosen to move forward into the pilot phase, marking a significant milestone in the Digital GEL project and potentially, the broader acceptance and implementation of CBDC systems.

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