Ripple Expands Partnership with Georgia for Digital Economy 

Ripple is enhancing its relationship with the Republic of Georgia by exploring ways to digitize the local economy with the National Bank of Georgia (NBG). The acting governor of NBG, Natia Turnava, and the head of the bank’s financial and supervisory technology development department, Varlam Ebanoidze, recently met with Ripple executive James Wallis to discuss this initiative.

The meeting, officially announced by the Georgian central bank in a LinkedIn post on June 8, featured discussions on enhancing cooperation in financial technology and digitalization. Wallis, Ripple’s vice president of central bank engagements, introduced the Georgian officials to Alistair Brown, a representative of Ripple’s partner, EPAM Systems.

About EPAM Systems

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

According to the official statement from the NBG, the discussions centered on potential collaboration opportunities to digitize the Georgian economy. This new collaboration builds on the existing partnership between the NBG and Ripple, with Ripple serving as the technological partner for the NBG’s pilot Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) project, known as the digital lari.

Ripple’s Role in Digital Lari Project

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.

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

Ripple’s Commitment to CBDCs

In late 2023, Ripple reaffirmed its commitment to global CBDC development in a 23-page white paper. The firm highlighted the importance of CBDCs in supporting the positive impacts of asset tokenization, transforming tangible assets into digital tokens stored on the blockchain.

While companies like Ripple support CBDC development, some critics raise concerns about potential drawbacks, such as privacy issues and government surveillance.