Ripple Networks has debuted an upgraded platform based on its XRP ledger technology geared toward comprehensive central bank CBDC creation and management.

Tagged the “Ripple CBDC Platform,” the company says the platform, based on a private XRP ledger, enables customers (meaning CBDC issuers) to control and configure the whole life cycle of fiat-based central bank digital currency, transaction, and distribution.

“Partnering with Ripple to help create our national digital currency is part of our commitment to lead in financial innovation and technologies, which will provide the citizens of Palau with greater financial access,” President of the Republic of Palau, Surangel Whipps Jr, endorsed Ripple’s platform.

Just how does it all relate to the XRP token that so many crypto enthusiasts hold?

Since 2021, the company has been working to position its blockchain and the XRP token as a “neutral bridge currency” for CBDCs.

A white paper at the time noted:

“A neutral bridge asset can support healthy, alternative liquidity markets that will allow for frictionless and cost- effective value movement between various CBDCs in real-time. It would also enable the exchange of less liquid CBDC pairs and increase global competition by lowering entry barriers to new and smaller market participants.

“To enable a truly efficient global market, a bridge currency must be specifically optimized for payments and support the same speed, scalability, low cost and security that CBDCs will provide,” the white paper stated. “One example of a neutral bridge is the digital asset XRP, which can be used to bridge two different currencies quickly and efficiently.”

Do Retail Users Want Government Digital Currencies?

Since 2021, there has been a simultaneous push by more countries to develop Central Bank Digital Currencies, as well as growing apprehension—and opposition—to them by many people who see them as mechanisms for unprecedented political and economic control and surveillance.

Perhaps tellingly, China has been the earliest major nation to push an increasing adoption of its digital Yuan currency to its citizens.

But even in that highly controlled society, it has not seen a universally smooth uptake. (See, for example, “HONG KONG TOURISTS DECLINE DIGITAL YUAN,” 7 Mar 2023.)

In the U.S., the Biden administration, and some influential Democrats like Elizabeth Warren, have signaled support for a so-called retail CBDC—ie., “digital dollars” that would be issued and end up in digital wallets of Americans.

Others point out a U.S. CBDC would give the government unprecedented and even unConstitutional surveillance and control over money.

Senators like Ted Cruz, and governors including Greg Abbott in Texas and Ron DeSantis in Florida have come out strongly against retail CBDCs.

DeSantis recently signed legislation barring CBDC use in Florida. (See “DESANTIS SIGNS LEGISLATION REJECTING CBDC USE IN FLORIDA, CITING SURVEILLANCE AND ESG CONCERNS,” 16 May 2023.)

Upgraded Feature Set, But Lawsuit Still Weighing on XRP

A multi-year lawsuit between the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and Ripple Networks has negatively affected the uptake of the company’s technology.

Many believe it has also bogged down the crypto sector, which has innovated digital fintech over the last decade into a growing component of the world economy.

But Ripple has continued to develop not only its technology, but its relationships and partnerships, throughout the ordeal.

In touting upgraded features of its CBDC platform, it noted that its solution has been highly ranked by Juniper Research, a leading digital tech research firm based in the U.K.

Some of the major features mentioned in an 18 May press release include:

  • Ledger technology – While still powered by the XRP Ledger, Ripple’s CBDC Platform is built on a new private ledger underpinned by the XRPL’s core energy-efficient technology.
  • Issuer – Enabling issuers (e.g. central banks, monetary authorities or commercial banks) to manage the full life cycle of their fiat based digital currency, from minting and distribution all the way to redemption and destruction, all in a highly secure manner taking advantage of the XRP Ledger’s built-in multi-signing capabilities.
  • Operator –This allows financial institutions who are holding significant amounts of the digital currency to manage and participate in inter-institutional settlement and distribution functions.
  • End user wallets – Users of digital currencies such as corporate and retail end users will be able to hold their digital currencies securely and be able to pay and receive payment for goods and services in the same way other payment and banking apps provide this today, including for offline transactions and non-smartphone use cases.

“The innovative capabilities of the platform will help enable instant settlement of both domestic and cross-border payments, reduce risk, and improve the user experience of quickly sending and receiving digital currency on either side of a transaction,” James Wallis, VP of Central Bank Engagements & CBDCs said concerning the platform.

Wallis noted that several Central Banks currently rely on Ripple technology.  Hundreds of banks also utilize Ripple’s XRP ledger.


This past week’s Bitcoin conference in Miami brought some upbeat news concerning Bitcoin payments.

The Strike bitcoin payments app is being rolled out to over 60 countries.

Right now, the app is only available in a few countries, including the U.S. and El Salvador.

Strike CEO Jack Mallers made the announcement during the first day of the conference, which is one of the largest annual gatherings of its kind in the world.

Strike is built using the bitcoin-focused Lightning Network, a layer 2 solution which makes bitcoin transfers faster and less expensive.

“Our end goal is to address the 7 to 8 billion people in every single country,” Strike VP of product development Manuela Rios said during an interview with crypto news outlet CoinDesk.

The current expansion won’t touch those numbers. But by some estimates, the 60 countries involved could potentially put the Strike app within reach of three billion, furthering the prediction of some bitcoin observers who believe a world-wide “bitcoinization,” or mass bitcoin uptake, is inevitable.

Some on a Bitcoin Magazine Twitter thread regarding the news expressed doubt concerning the touted numbers:

Stanimir Uzunov




That’s simply couldn’t be TRUE! Considering 37% of Global population don’t have Internet. Strike operate in 65 countries out of 195. When we add up the numbers, seems like FALSE statement!

Others were more bullish on the news. And some pointed out that transferring bitcoin between self-custodied wallets (while entailing transaction fees that can be higher than apps like Strike) has always been a feature of Bitcoin, even in countries which have tried to ban or suppress cryptos.

As one person commented concerning bitcoin in Argentina:



Wen Argentina? Oh yeah right, never.

Fortunately self-custodial solutions have been available worldwide from day 1, no need to ask for permission.

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