The Ripple project, which has quickly roped in several partners in regions all over the world, it has announced an expansion in the Middle East, with the opening of an office in Dubai by the end of 2018.
In a speech given at a conference in Dubai, Dilip Rao, Ripple's Global Head of Infrastructure Innovation, revealed the exciting new development and provided information on the number of partners who have joined RippleNet.
Rao stressed that technology could greatly help the workers, saying:
If you want to send this money, in particular you are not clear about which fees the bank will charge from the other party. And so, what you will receive could be substantially less than what you sent. And if you send money to the workers, this can often be a small sum of money, $ 200, and commissions for these small payments can go up to 5-10%. So this actually hurts people who can afford it less.
In fact, the region is also home to many migrant workers who suffer from high taxes and late transaction times when they send money to the families of their land of origin. Remittances are a key application for blockchain technology and Ripple itself has made it an important priority.
Rao also believes that micropayments, or transactions of relatively small value, can reap great benefits from Ripple technology.
High-volume transactions at marginal costs can be the basis of a new digital economy, as Rao explains:
[micropayments]… can start building the foundation for a digital economy, because if you now think about the machines that talk to each other, you make about 50 billion transactions each year. This is the amount of micropayment – a tenth of a cent – and in reality the existing infrastructure is not able to cope with these very low values, a high volume of transactions. So we believe it is necessary to build a new set of infrastructures to support this type of digital economy.
Rao then confirmed that Ripple has signed nearly 200 financial institutions, and partners in the Middle East include the largest Islamic bank of Saudi Arabia Al-Rajhi and Kuwait Finance House.
Middle East embracing Blockchain technology
The Middle East, in particular with the United Arab Emirates, has embraced the technologies of the digital ledger.
In April, the United Arab Emirates announced that it would implement blockchain technology for a variety of applications. This month, the first "Halal" digital currency exchange, The first Islamic exchange of cryptocurrencies (FICE) has been announced and will present only halal coins. The exchange is scheduled for launch in 2019.
The Emirates also have a blockchain strategy, entitled Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021. The goal is to capitalize at least 50% of government transactions on a blockchain ledger. The initial applications will provide citizens with a unique identification number that refers to their blockchain information, which will include both financial and document data. The government believes that this will automate processes and reduce overall costs.
In addition to Ripple, here are also other cryptocurrencies designed to meet the specific needs of the Middle Eastern market as the payment solution MenaPay which is 100% Islamic in conformity.