Following a recent meeting, the blockchain company will likely help the Balkan country create an inclusive payment infrastructure.
Montenegro’s prime minister, Dr. Dritan Abazovic, in a short Twitter thread on January 18, for the first time, revealed Ripple’s close relations with the Balkan country, hinting at continued collaborations.
Dr. Abazovic disclosed in the Twitter thread, which has now made the rounds within the XRP community, that he met with a couple of Ripple executives, including chief executive officer Brad Garlinghouse. As translated by Google, both parties discussed the development of an inclusive payment infrastructure for Montenegrins.
“Productive meeting with @Ripple CEO @bgarlinghouse and VP Central Bank Cooperation James Wallis,” Dr. Abazovic wrote as translated by Google. “We discussed the development of a payment infrastructure that would provide greater financial accessibility and inclusion. Montenegro is open to new value and investments.”
Meanwhile, the prime minister let slip that the country had already launched a digital currency pilot test with the help of Ripple.
“In cooperation with @Ripple and the Central Bank, we launched a pilot project to build the first digital currency or stablecoin for Montenegro,” Dr. Abazovic wrote, as translated by Google.
It is the first mention of a collaboration between the Montenegrin government and Ripple. However, in a December 2021 report, the country’s central bank hinted at developing digital payment solutions.
It is worth noting that the small South Eastern European country uses the euro despite not being a member of the EU. It adopted it as its domestic currency in 2002 for the same reasons it had adopted the currencies of other European countries in the past: to protect against hyperinflation.
Consequently, as translated by Google, what Ripple helped Montenegro create is likely not a central bank digital currency (CBDC) but a stablecoin, specifically a euro stablecoin.
It represents the most recent example of the blockchain payments company’s efforts to digitize payments globally, usually consulting with governments on CBDC development. Recall that Ripple created a private ledger for central banks to test CBDCs in 2021. In the same year, it tapped XRP, the native currency of the XRP Ledger, as the answer to the problem of cross-border CBDC interoperability, touting it as an ideal neutral bridge currency.
Notably, XRP is already used to bridge fiats in cross-border payments via Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity service, which the company recently revealed now serves nearly 90% of the foreign exchange market. XRP proponents have hailed this value proposition as a bridge currency for the world’s CBDCs as a catalyst to send the price of the crypto asset soaring.
Despite Ripple’s growing influence abroad, the American company remains shackled by legal woes at home, embroiled in a case with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that has spanned over two years.