If you can’t beat them, then you should probably join them. That said, Saudi Arabia’s central bank has just struck a deal with Ripple, a San Francisco-based virtual currency company. The company’s goal is to introduce blockchain technology to the kingdom’s banks. The revolutionary technology will help the banks make swift cross-border payments. Saudi Arabia will use xCurrent, an enterprise software solution specializing in these specific payments.
Big central banks partnering up with cryptocurrency companies was inevitable and now it has finally happened. Saudi Arabia’s central bank is the first to launch a blockchain-utilizing pilot program. Ripple’s global head of infrastructure innovation Dilip Rao has stated, “Central banks around the world are leaning into blockchain technology in recognition of how it can transform cross-border payments, resulting in lower barriers to trade and commerce for both corporates and consumers.”
The sudden partnership was something that nobody could have expected. Gulf regulators have recently voiced their unease concerning Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market having a complete lack of regulations.
Their sudden interest in Ripple might be due to the cryptocurrency’s general stance. Whereas Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies stand firmly with decentralization and deregulation, Ripple has swerved off this path and has opened itself and its software up to more time-honored financial institutes.
That said, not everyone is so happy with the partnership and the general direction that Ripple is swaying in. Many are saying that the company is drifting far from the roots of cryptocurrency and the foundation that it stands for.
Furthermore, Mubarak Rashed al-Mansouri, the governor of the UAE central bank has stated that both the central bank of the United Arab Emirates and the central bank of Saudi Arabia have partnered up with the hopes of releasing a cryptocurrency that will simplify cross-border transactions between the two nations.