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Blockchain : Saudi Arabia’s Monetary Authority Bets on the Ripple

Saudi banks will soon be active users of blockchain technology to settle payments sent into and out of the kingdom.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) recently signed an agreement with Ripple, a software company specializing in fintechs, in order to launch a pilot program to test xCurrent. Following the Bank of England, SAMA becomes the second central bank in the world to use blockchain technology.

xCurrent, it is software that enables banks to instantly settle cross-border transactions between them – meaning all the banks using the RippleNet – with greater transparency, lower costs, and much faster, so Ripple says.

Central banks are interested in blockchain technology

“Central banks around the world are leaning into blockchain technology in recognition of how it can transform cross-border payments, resulting in lower barriers to trade and commerce for both corporates and consumers” Dilip Rao, Global head of infrastructure innovation at Ripple

More and more banks and financial institution are looking into the new possibilities opened by the blockchain, such the French bank Crédit Agricole, which currently testing xCurrent for cross-border transaction between France and Switzerland. About 90.000 of its clients are French working in Switzerland and paid in Swiss francs, and xCurrent could help reduce money transfers’ delays from a couple of days to just a couple of minutes.