Dilip Rao, Ripple’s Global Head of Infrastructure Innovation, recently appeared at a conference in Dubai to speak about Ripple’s plans to enter the Middle East. He also spoke about the existence of XRP and Ripple’s other products within the regulatory environment of the area.
Rao revealed that Ripple was going to be setting up an office in Dubai “before the end of the year”, and provided an introduction to the Internet of Value. He also spoke about Ripple’s goals in the Middle East, stating:
“Our focus initially is to 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 that will support the economy both within the region, but also in terms of business that you conduct with the rest of the world.”
He confirmed that Ripple has signed up close to 200 institutions “around the world” with “many of them” from the Middle East. Calling it the “fastest growing marketplace”, Rao revealed that Ripple’s clients included the largest Islamic bank in Saudi Arabia known as Al-Rajhi, and Kuwait Finance House. He elaborated:
“If you wanted to send money out of UAE today, it can be a costly and a slow exercise in some parts of the world. South Asia, for example, has given up on using SWIFT and have built their own proprietary technologies to interface into these corridors so that move money quickly and cheaply to meet the needs of the customers in these high-volume corridors.”
Moreover, he revealed how this “hurts” blue-collar workers who are sending money to their families, as fees can be “as high as 5-10%”. This led to him speaking about how solving this problem allows Ripple to “build the basis for a digital economy”. He went on to say:
“If you now think about machines talking to each other doing, maybe 50 billion transactions every year. We are now talking about micropayments a tenth of a cent. The existing infrastructure is unable to cope with these very low value, high volume transactions. We think that is a requirement to build a new set of infrastructure to be able to support this kind of a digital economy.”
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