Blockchain and crypto specialist Ripple has continued its global expansion through new ventures in both Dubai and Georgia. 

It comes as the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has approved the digital asset XRP for use within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

As a result, XRP joins BTC, ETH and LTC as the assets previously approved under the DFSA’s virtual assets regime. 

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, commented: “Dubai continues to demonstrate global leadership when it comes to the regulation of virtual assets and nurturing innovation. 

“It’s refreshing to see the DFSA encourage the adoption and use of digital assets such as XRP to position Dubai as a leading financial services hub intent on attracting foreign investment and accelerating economic growth. 

“Ripple will continue to double down on its presence in Dubai and we look forward to continuing to work closely with regulators to realise crypto’s full potential.”

Additionally, the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) also selected Ripple as its official technology partner for the Digital Lari (GEL) pilot project. 

It represents a key move for the evolution of digital currencies in the region – with Ripple’s CBDC technology evaluating the practical use cases to gauge potential benefits for the public sector, businesses and retail users.

Commenting on Ripple’s selection, Natia Turnava, Acting Governor and Member of the Board of the National Bank of Georgia, said: “We were pleased to select Ripple as the official technology partner for our Digital Lari (GEL) pilot project following a thorough review of all shortlisted parties. 

“The committee selected Ripple due to its technical excellence and the expertise of its team. We look forward to moving ahead with Ripple, we are grateful to all other participating companies for their interest and efforts in the selection process.”

Ripple was chosen as NBG’s single technology partner during a selection process involving nine shortlisted companies,assessed on their capabilities to support the pilot. 

Now that the selection phase is complete, NBG will move to the pilot stage to test the Ripple CBDC platform in a live environment to enable them to evaluate select use cases.

James Wallis, VP of Central Bank Engagements at Ripple, added: “The National Bank of Georgia is taking a global lead in exploring how it can use blockchain technology to take its economy into the digital era. 

“By harnessing the power of the Ripple CBDC Platform, this pilot will pave the way for transformative advancements in the utilisation of blockchain technology within the public sector. 

“Our partnership with NBG demonstrates our commitment to driving innovation and efficiency, ultimately empowering public and private entities to unlock the full potential of secure and transparent blockchain transactions.”