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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Georgia to Test Limited Pilot of Live CBDC, Ripple Evaluated as Tech Provider

The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) has announced that it will be conducting research on a digital lari central bank digital currency (CBDC) in a limited-access live pilot environment. Ripple Labs is one of the nine companies selected to participate in the project, with the possibility of being chosen to move forward to the next stage of testing. In February, the NBG released a paper stating that it was considering a two-tier design for its CBDC, with wallets provided by a third party. The digital lari would be programmable and support asset tokenization. Use cases for a digital lari include agricultural insurance and the automation of real estate transactions. The NBG is also interested in interoperability with the digital euro while maintaining monetary freedom.

In addition to Ripple Labs, the other participants in the pilot project include Augentic, Bitt, Broxus Holdings, Currency Network, DCM, eCurrency Mint, FARI Solutions, and Sovereign Wallet. Ripple Labs has been actively involved in CBDC projects in various countries such as Colombia, Montenegro, Hong Kong, Bhutan, and Palau. The NBG’s decision to include Ripple Labs in the pilot highlights the company’s expertise and experience in the CBDC space. The NBG’s exploration of a digital lari CBDC is a significant step toward embracing digital currencies and modernizing Georgia’s financial system.

The NBG’s announcement comes after its participation as an observer in the Bank of International Settlements’ (BIS) Project mBridge, which involves countries like China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates. By collaborating with the BIS and leveraging knowledge and expertise from projects like Project Aurum, the NBG aims to further strengthen its understanding of CBDCs and ensure the successful implementation of a digital lari. This pilot project marks a significant milestone in Georgia’s exploration of CBDCs and demonstrates the country’s commitment to remaining at the forefront of financial innovation.

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