Today, we are proud to announce our partnership with Bhutan’s central bank, the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA), who will use Ripple’s CBDC solution to pilot a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in phases. This move is driven by the nation’s desire to enhance digital and cross-border payments, expand financial inclusion efforts and extend its commitment to sustainability as the only carbon-negative country in the world.
Financial Innovation Supporting Inclusion
Over the past few years, the RMA has established itself as a leader in financial innovation. Building atop the country’s payments infrastructure and capabilities, this new initiative will tap our CBDC solution to support seamless retail, cross-border and wholesale payment use cases for a digital Ngultrum.
The RMA believes that easier, faster and more affordable payments, both domestically and internationally, will help it reach its goal of increasing financial inclusion by 85% by 2023. The power of the technology underlying the XRP Ledger, combined with Ripple’s experience in cross-border payments and tokenization, will harness tremendous speed, cost and innovation advantages in support of this mission.
A Sustainable CBDC
In addition to the technology, Ripple’s commitment to sustainability was important for Bhutan. The CBDC solution is carbon-neutral and, because it’s based on the public XRP Ledger, is 120,000x more energy efficient than proof-of-work blockchains.
For a country that has pledged to remain carbon neutral, this combination of innovative finance with sustainability is a natural fit.
A Private Ledger for Central Banks
Ripple’s CBDC solution leverages a private version of the public, open-source XRP Ledger (XRPL). The core technology is proven, with more than 5,400 different third party tokens issued and traded on the XRPL so far via its integrated decentralized exchange (DEX) and custom token functionality. Building on top of that technology, Ripple’s CBDC solution ensures central banks have greater control over issuance, management, privacy, and validation than they would get with public blockchains.
Beyond privacy, the CBDC solution is also custom designed to handle payments at the volume of transactions required by a successful retail CBDC. This provides central banks like the RMA with the security, control and flexibility they need to deploy a CBDC without compromising financial stability or monetary policy objectives.
Like the public XRP Ledger, moving money through Ripple’s CBDC solution is cost-effective, reliable and nearly instantaneous. In addition, the solution will enable the RMA to eventually access a network of CBDC ledgers for full settlement interoperability, while still maintaining monetary and technological independence.
To learn more about Ripple’s solution for CBDCs, visit our product page.