“The committee selected Ripple due to its technical excellence and the expertise of its team,” said Natia Turnava, Acting Governor of the NBG.
Each country has different motivations for pursuing CBDC projects such as financial inclusion. However, that’s not a key driver for Georgia’s Digital GEL. On multiple occasions the National Bank has highlighted its interest in exploiting modern technologies. Hence, it’s particularly interested in the programmability aspect.
“Creating a platform with smart contract and programmable token capabilities will encourage banks and fintech companies to introduce innovations in the financial sector,” the central bank previously stated.
The interesting point is that XRP Ledger has never natively supported smart contracts as it pre-dates Ethereum. Its focus has always been on pure payments.
However, there’s a bleeding edge sidechain that supports Ethereum-compatible smart contracts and links to the XRP Ledger with a bridge. It is being developed by Peersyst and funded by Ripple but is yet to launch.
Meanwhile, the other contenders for the Georgia project were:
- Broxus Holdings
- Currency Network
- DCM Corp
- eCurrency Mint
- FARI Solutions
- Sovereign Wallet Co.
Ripple has collaborated with five other central banks on CBDC projects. They included Bhutan, Palau, Montenegro, Colombia and Hong Kong. In the latter case, the Ripple pilot was one of a dozen use cases.