Ripple’s annual Swell conference, which was held this year in Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai (November 8-9, 2023), was a convergence point for over 600 leaders from the payments, financial services, and blockchain sectors. In a blog post dated 8 December 2023, Ripple shared detailed insights from the event, focusing on the evolving business landscape of crypto and blockchain.

1. Ripple Payments Evolves to Serve SMEs: According to Ripple, a significant highlight of the conference was the announcement by Brendan Berry, Ripple’s Head of Payments Product, regarding the latest evolution in Ripple Payments. Originally launched as RippleNet, this platform has been pivotal in aiding financial institutions with efficient cross-border payments. Ripple emphasized that the platform’s expansion aims to cater to the needs of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), a sector increasingly inclined towards blockchain solutions for B2B payments and treasury functions.

Ripple noted that the revamped Ripple Payments is designed to be a user-friendly, plug-and-play solution for global businesses, particularly beneficial for SMEs with limited resources and crypto expertise. Ripple’s deep regulatory insight and technological prowess back this service, which is now a licensed end-to-end payments solution in various U.S. jurisdictions. Ripple highlighted that this service offers access to over 70 payout markets through a single connection, leveraging a mix of assets like crypto, stablecoins, and fiat for optimal payment experiences.

2. Dubai as a Global Crypto Hub: Ripple’s report from the conference also shed light on a panel discussion led by Saqr Ereiqat of Crypto Oasis, which recognized Dubai’s pioneering role in the global crypto economy. Ripple conveyed the panel’s consensus that the UAE’s early governmental adoption of blockchain technology laid the groundwork for its current status as a crypto leader. The panelists, as reported by Ripple, attributed this success to the UAE’s digitization initiatives and its strategic position within the MENA region.

3. DIFC’s Role in Blockchain Adoption: Ripple’s coverage of the event included a session featuring Alya Al Zarouni, COO of DIFC Authority, and Ripple President Monica Long. Ripple shared that the discussion revolved around DIFC’s collaboration with DFSA in driving blockchain adoption in the region. Ripple reported Al Zarouni’s views on DFSA’s smart regulation, which has been instrumental in allowing blockchain and digital assets like XRP to flourish in the UAE.

4. Blockchain and Sustainability: Finally, Ripple’s post highlighted the discussion on blockchain’s role in sustainability, particularly in climate finance. Ripple reported Al Zarouni’s emphasis on the DIFC’s focus on sustainability and blockchain during her chat with Monica Long. Additionally, Ripple mentioned Saqr Ereiqat’s reference to the Green Block initiative, aligning with the UAE’s positioning as a leader in sustainability within the technology space, especially in the context of the upcoming COP28 in Dubai.

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