When Marcus Treacher (Ripple’s SVP of Customer Success) revealed in a fireside chat a few weeks ago that Ripple was very keen to expand to China and that the company did transact with some Chinese nodes at the time, there was very little indication in what he was referring to. It seems that Ripple has been working under the radar with various banks and institutions in China and Malaysia for the better half of 2020.

Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU)

On the 12th of December, 2019, Ripple signed an MOU with the Asia Pacific Investment Bank (APIB), the Nanjing Digital Finance Industry Research Institute, and the Bank of Jiangsu.

APIB与南京数字金融产业研究院、江苏银行、美国Ripple签署合作协议.jpg
From left to right: Mr. Liu Xuming (Chairman of APIB), the Chairman of Bank of Jiangsu, Mr. Jiang Guoqing (Dean of Nanjing Digital Finance Industry Research Institute), and Mr. Li Yuan (Chief Representative of Ripple in China country office).

According to the announcement, the four parties would work together to promote the construction and application of cross-border payment innovation channels based on blockchain, and on this basis, promote the deepening use of more financial products such as the conversion of RMB (Renminbi, China’s currency) and small currencies. Special thanks to Steven Diep for bringing this announcement to our attention.

Let’s take a closer look at these three institutions.

Asia Pacific Investment Bank (APIB)

The Asia Pacific Investment Bank was established by the Asia Pacific Wenjing Financial Group. The Asia Pacific Wenjing Financial Group is established overseas (Malaysia) by a Chinese state-owned enterprise as a financial demonstration window for providing international financial services for the “Belt and Road” countries.

APIB established and initiated Asia Digital Bank (AsiaDB) in Labuan International Business and Finance Center, Malaysia. On November 28, 2019, it was officially approved by the Labuan Financial Authority as a digital financial business licensee. AsiaDB is:

  • Taking the exploration of the standard model of digital asset transactions as the direction,
  • Taking the research on the confirmation path of technology-empowered asset as the focus,
  • Taking the promotion of digital assets’ global mobilization as the goal.

Ripple is also listed as an AsiaDB partner.

Image source: http://www.asiadb.com/en/company/index.jhtml

AsiaDB has actively cooperated with many well-known technology partners around the world to steadily push forward the construction of the Ocliven digital asset operation platform. After conducting two internal system tests on June 25th and July 7th, AsiaDB invited a number of well-known experts in the field of digital finance (including Ripple) to have a symposium on the challenges of the Ocliven digital asset operation platform before official launching in Shanghai, China.

The Ocliven platform aims to effectively attract and match different types of asset owners and capital owners, improving the traceability of the underlying assets and the transparency of asset management, and empowering on- and off-site capital markets. After the platform goes online, it will benefit a large number of enterprise customers with cross-border financing and asset management needs, promote the formation of a new dual-cycle development pattern of “capital + resources” mutual promotion at home and abroad, and contribute to the intelligent management and coordinated allocation of global assets in the later stage during post-Covid-19 period.

AsiaDB has been added to our Ripple ecosystem.

Nanjing Digital Finance Industry Research Institute

According to the announcement, Nanjing Digital Finance Industry Research Institute is the third institution to participate in this partnership. Mr. Jiang Guoqing, the Dean of the institute, was also the Director of the Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China that stated in 2018 that the central bank digital currency (CBDC) was not directly linked to blockchain, and the underlying technology is only an alternative means to facilitate the circulation of state-backed cryptocurrency.

With the four parties working on promoting the construction and application of cross-border payment innovation channels based on blockchain, and the conversion of the Renminbi, it will be interesting to see how exactly Ripple fits in.

Bank of Jiangsu

The bank of Jiangsu, a  modern joint-stock commercial bank, was founded by merging and reorganizing the ten commercial banks in cities of Wuxi, Suzhou, and Nantong in Jiangsu province, which created a new model of local corporate banking reform. Formally entered service on January 24, 2007, it is a Large local provincial corporate bank in Jiangsu.

Past activity in these countries

Ripple has maintained other partnerships in China and Malaysia in the past. CIMB, MoneyMatch (Malaysia), and Shanghai Huarui Bank, LianLian International (China) have been Ripple partners for some time now.

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Categories: BankingCBDC