Ripple, a company behind XRP, the current third largest crypto in the world, has lately seen a sufficient increase in the number of its customers. In October, the company started talks with SWIFT on the subject of potential partnership, which would make XPR a new highway for crossbanking settlements. The company has also presented the world its new ad, which demonstrates how long does it take in our high-tech century to transfer money across the world and explaines, why Ripple is the best solution.
Last week, Global Islamic Economic Summit 2018 was held in United Arab Emirates, and Ripple, which has offices in San Francisco, New York and Sydney, announced plans to open a new office in Dubai. In a speech given at the conference, Dilip Rao, Ripple’s Global Head of Infrastructure Innovation, announced Ripple’s plans to fully enter the Asian market and market of the Middle East by setting up a base of operations in Dubai. According to Rao, the new office will be establiched by the end of this year.
Rao pointed out that Ripple solutions are cost-saving, flexible and cheap, which enables Ripple to align with UAE plans to implement blockchain technology for a variety of applications:
“I think the UAE government saying that 50% of all government transactions will be on distributed ledger technology by 2020 is a fantastic way to encourage innovation, to bring Fintechs to your market and then to then build the capability locally to iterate on those solutions that the Fintechs bring to you.”
Further, Dilip Rao the importance of Ripple’s technology for blue-collar workers:
“If you want to send this money, particularly you’re not clear about what the fees are going to be that the bank is going to charge on the other end. And therefore, what you’ll receive might be substantially less than what you sent out. And if you’re sending money for blue collar workers, this often can be a small amount of money, $200, and the fees for these kinds of small payments can be as high as 5 to 10%. So this is actually hurting the people who can afford it the least.”
The Middle East as a new market is very important for the company. Many workers there are foreigners who send money to their home countries and face high transaction fees. According to Dilip Rao, Ripple aims to eliminate these burdens by introducing a fast transaction processing system that charges negligible figures in transaction fees. He said:
“Our focus initially is on cross-border payments because we think that’s where there is the most friction. In this part of the world, there is a huge requirement for cross-border transactions. This will support the economy both within the region and the rest of the world.”
It is notable that Ripple has already signed about 200 institutions from different countries, many of which are from the Middle East. The list of clients reportedly includes the Saudi Arabia’s Al-Rajhi Bank, as well as Kuwait Finance House.
Crypto-Friendly Middle East
The Middle East, with the United Arab Emirates in particular, is embracing digital ledger technologies. In April, the UAE announced plans to implement blockchain technology for handling government transactions and data, including the citizen’s legal documents and other financial information. The UAE government has also developed a strategy named Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021, which aims at capitalizing at least 50% of government transactions on a blockchain ledger.
Moreover, the country has revealed its plans to set the First Islamic Cryptocurrency Exchange (FICE), scheduled to launch in 2019.