Georgia’s apex bank partners Ripple for CBDC test-run

The National Bank of Georgia has chosen Ripple, a US-based fintech company, as its official technology partner for a digital lari pilot project. By utilising Ripple’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) platform, the central bank of Georgia aims to investigate potential use cases and advantages of having a digital currency for the public sector, businesses, and retail users.

This initiative is part of the ongoing global exploration of central bank digital currencies, as many countries are considering the potential benefits of digital currencies for their economies. Ripple’s technology will play a key role in helping Georgia’s central bank assess the feasibility and practicality of a digital lari and how it can benefit different sectors of the economy.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, bankrupt crypto exchange FTX and its debtors are seeking approval from the US bankruptcy court in Delaware to sell certain trust assets, including funds from Grayscale and Bitwise, with an estimated combined value of approximately $744 million. The aim of this sale is to streamline distributions to creditors and enable a swift and efficient sale of these assets when the time is right, as detailed in a court filing.

FTX, once one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, filed for bankruptcy in November of the previous year following allegations of misappropriation of customer funds. In a recent legal development, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty of defrauding customers and lenders by a jury, with a tentative sentencing date set for March 28, 2024. Experts suggest a potential prison sentence of 15-20 years, despite the theoretical maximum of 115 years.

The “trust assets” in question include funds held in five Grayscale Trusts, valued at an estimated total of $691 million, as well as one trust managed by Bitwise, with a value of $53 million, as of October 25, 2023. These trusts allow investors to gain exposure to digital assets without directly owning the underlying assets.

The debtors argue that actively managing the risk of price fluctuations is essential to protect the value of these trust assets, maximise returns for creditors, and ensure fair distribution of funds within the debtor’s plan of reorganisation. Additionally, the debtors propose the establishment of a pricing committee, featuring representation from all stakeholders, and the requirement for the investment adviser to obtain a minimum of two bids from different counterparties before finalising the sale of assets.

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