Blockchain Firm Ripple To Open Office In Dubai By The End Of 2018br>
Distributed ledger firm Ripple is planning to open an office in Dubai in an effort to meet the market demands of the Middle East region.
During the Global Islamic Economic Summit, Ripple Global Infrastructure Innovation Head Dilip Rao said that Ripple is “seriously planning to enter the Middle East market,” with a Dubai office opening by the end of this year. The planned Dubai office would join the company’s network of offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Sydney, India, Singapore and Luxembourg.
“Our focus initially is on cross-border payments because we think that’s where there is the most friction,” said Rao. “In this part of the world, there is a huge requirement for cross-border transactions. This will support the economy both within the region and the rest of the world.”
Rao said that Ripple has already signed about 200 institutions from different countries with many of them being from the Middle East.
“We now have three banks in Saudi Arabia, two in Kuwait… one in Bahrain, one in Oman… a couple in the UAE… and it really is out fastest growing marketplace,” said Rao.
According to Rao, blockchain technology aligns well with UAE’s plan to become a fully digital government by 2021. The UAE federal government’s goal is to achieve a high standard of living for their citizens and the provision of community services in an innovative, sustainable and high-quality manner.
“I think the UAE government saying that 50% of all government transactions will be on distributed ledger technology by 2020 is a fantastic way to encourage innovation, to bring Fintechs to your market and then to then build the capability locally to iterate on those solutions that the FinTechs bring to you,” Rao said.
Rao also said that Ripple’s blockchain products and solutions are Sharia-compliant as they always track the parties involved and their contractual obligations to avert unnecessary breach of trust.
“Being able to know what are the underlying assets to a transaction…being able to identify the participants to a transaction…being able to be clear about the contractual roles and responsibilities and being able to reduce risks are all aligned with Sharia Principles,” Rao said.