Ripple sets eyes on Dubai’s expat remittances

November 2, 2018 4:38 pm


Emiratis make up 11.5% of the 9.54 million population in the UAE, according to a 2018 global media insight report.

That’s 1.1 million UAE nationals vs 8.44 million expats, of which Indians are 27.5% followed by Pakistanis at 12.7%.

These expats need to send money abroad and now Ripple will open office In Dubai in Q4 2018, aiming to tap into a huge segment thirsty for a better deal on money transfers.

Ripple confirms nearly 200 partners under its belt, of which some are in the region.

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Huge customer base

Ripple is the San Francisco company behind the third biggest digital currency, XRP.

Now Ripple is heading towards the Asian market, according to Cryptodaily.co.uk

During a results briefing with SBI Financial, the CEO of SBI Group, Yoshitaka Kitao revealed that the company had already started to begin talks for a new project for R3 which exclusively uses Ripple.

The SBI Group is one of the biggest multi-billion dollar financial firms in Japan which operate with three primary businesses in biotech, financial services, and asset management. Since the creation of SBI Ripple Asia, a consortium of over 60 Japanese banks, the Group decided to lead the development and deployment of all XRP related products in Asia.

Joining RippleNet a few weeks ago was the largest Islamic bank in Saudi Arabia, Al Rajhi as well as Kuwait Finance House. However, while attending a UAE conference in Dubai, Dilip Rao, head of Ripple’s Global Infrastructure Innovation at Ripple announced company plans to set up base operations in Dubai.

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Rao explained the importance of Ripple’s technology and what it means for the workers within the Middle East. Given the fact that many workers in the area are foreign and send their earnings to their home countries, there has been a big issue with time of transaction and associated fees.

“If you want to send this money, particularly you’re not clear about what the fees are going to be that the bank is going to charge on the other end. And therefore, what you’ll receive might be substantially less than what you sent out. And if you’re sending money for blue collar workers, this often can be a small amount of money, $200, and the fees for these kinds of small payments can be as high as 5 to 10%. So this is actually hurting the people who can afford it the least,” Rao said as reported by investinblockchain.

The XRP network can handle around 1,500 transactions every second, making it the world’s quickest crypto network.

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Remittances: Get out of jail (almost) free token

Rao explained that Ripple’s goals aims are to introduce a speedy transaction processing system which charges negligible figures in transaction fees. In addition to this, he discussed the InterLedger Protocol, if implemented the Protocol will lead to several ledgers to connect and make funds transfer more efficiently.

Expat remittances from the UAE totaled AED 88 billion ($23.96 billion) in the first half of 2018, a 13.1% growth from the AED 77.8 billion ($21.18 billion) recorded during the same period in 2017, according to figures from the UAE Central Bank.

 “[micropayments]…can start to build the basis for a digital economy, because if you now think about machines talking to each other, doing maybe 50 billion transactions every year. This is the amount of what micropayments – a tenth of a cent – and really the existing infrastructure is unable to cope with these very low value, high volume of transactions. So we think there is a requirement to build a new set of infrastructure to be able to support this kind of a digital economy,” Rao added.

The Middle East and Blockchain

According to Ethereum World News (EWN), the UAE, and the Middle East at large, have been very receptive of the blockchain technology.

“Just this April, the U.A.E government announced plans to use the technology to handle government transactions and data. These will include the citizen’s legal documents and other financial data. Also, the First Islamic Cryptocurrency Exchange (FICE) will be launching in 2019,” said EWN.

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XRP to skyrocket

The fact that the banks on RippleNet use XRP as the fund’s transfer currency could send the crypto’s price skyrocketing. Things could get even better as more banks join the network and XRP adoption increases.

From XRP’s point of view, it has seen some massive share of growth especially in terms of markets capitalization. Nevertheless, there hasn’t been much activity in its price range over the last week, but that could change soon, according to Cryptodaily.co.uk.

XRP is trading at $0.4588, up 1.69% today. On January 54, 2018, it traded at $3.32.

Figure: Coinmarketcap

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Hadi Khatib
By Hadi Khatib
Hadi Khatib is a business editor with more than 15 years' experience delivering news and copy of relevance to a wide range of audiences. If newsworthy and actionable, you will find this editor interested in hearing about your sector developments and writing about it.



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