The largest government-backed banking institution in Egypt, the National Bank of Egypt has announced the signing of a cooperation agreement with blockchain development behemoth Ripple. Both parties believe the agreement will facilitate the growth of the Egyptian remittance market.
Ripple Expands to North Africa
According to reports from local news outlet Youm7, the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) has announced a partnership with blockchain developer Ripple to foster effective transaction channels for inward remittance. The NBE has now become the first banking institution in the country to adopt blockchain technology.
Commenting on the cooperation agreement signed with Ripple, Hisham Okasha the Chairperson of the NBE remarked that:
“The implementation of this agreement will add a new and important tributary for receiving remittances from correspondents under the name Ripple Net, which is the first of its kind among Egyptian banks, and this comes within the framework of the role of the National Bank of Egypt in support of developing the work of remittances received from different countries of the world, especially the Gulf region.”
Okasha further said the NBE’s deal with the blockchain developer is in line with unified international standards for remittance transactions, and the management of mutual transfers between banks and international financial institutions.
Dalia El-Baz, the vice-chairperson of the NBE pointed out that Ripple’s blockchain network currently services over 300 banks and financial institutions in several regions worldwide. As such, the NBE’s deal with the blockchain behemoth is a strategic move to expand the bank’s presence in the global remittance market.
El-Baz also believes that joining the blockchain network will give the Egyptian bank widened access to new markets, foster better liquidity management, and increase its foreign currency earnings.
According to data from the World Bank, the global remittance market is expected to hit $597 billion in terms of total transaction value in the year 2020. Also, the Egyptian remittance market is estimated to reach a $20.5 billion total transaction valuation by the end of 2023 and the country was also ranked the fifth highest remittance recipient worldwide in 2019, per data from Ken Research.
Deletable XRP Accounts Proposal Causes Stir
As at press time, it unclear whether or not the NBE will be considering the adoption of Ripple’s native blockchain crypto XRP within the framework of its remittance and financial institutional services.
In other Ripple related news, the blockchain behemoth announced that amendments to the XRP ledger framework have been proposed by the XRPL community. The developer blockchain developer revealed the new proposed feature via a press release on its website. An excerpt from the press release reads:
“Today, one new feature proposed in the amendment process is Deletable Accounts and is waiting to acquire and retain an 80% supermajority, before it activates. This feature allows XRPL accounts to be removed from the ledger and recover most of the reserve locked in the accounts for spam prevention.”
The amendment process outlines a set of code changes to allow the new feature run on the XRP ledger as an updated version and users will then be given two weeks to share their reviews. Should the amendment hold the 80% support required for implementation during the two-week cycle, the update will be fully enabled and users with a contrary opinion will be blocked.
Back in December 2019, the blockchain behemoth raised a massive $200 million a Series C funding round led by Tetragon Investment, as reported by Blockonomi. After the funding round, Ripple claimed to now have a market value worth $10 billion.
In June 2019, Ripple announced a $50 million partnership deal with money transfer giant Moneygram to utilize blockchain technology to facilitate faster error-free cross border payments.
The blockchain firm also announced collaborations with UAE Exchange and Unimoni to establish international payment corridors in a move to maintain competitiveness with mainstream cross-border payment portals like SWIFT.