While Stellar Lumens, may have received certification for both its platform and associated cryptocurrency, from the Shariyah Review Bureau — an Islamic advisory firm based in Bahrain and is ready to spread its wings in the Islamic Financial World, Ripple has hit back to its competitions. In a recent announcement, Ripple has said that the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia also known as AlAhli Bank has joined the RippleNet.
The NCB may open doors for Ripple to the Islamic World of Finance
The National Commercial Bank (NCB) also known as AlAhli Bank is one of the largest banks of the Islamic World. Based in Saudi Arabia, the financial institution is the second largest bank by asset in the Arab world and practices Islamic banking and finance. The National Commercial Bank owns 90.7% of NCB Capital, its investment arm the Premier Investment bank in the Kingdom, and owns 67.03% of Türkiye Finans Katılım Bankası (TFKB), the leading participation bank in Turkey. For the last ten years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been one of the largest sources of remittances in the world. According to the World Bank, 308 million dollars were sent to the KSA, and 37 billion dollars in remittances were sent from the country in 2016. This massive market is primarily comprised of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia citizens and foreign workers who in 2018 numbered over 10 million. In years to come, the SME sector in Saudi Arabia will also add up to this significant volume.
Following Ripple’s recent pilot with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, the National Commercial Bank (NCB) has joined RippleNet. NCB was the first bank established in the country; today, it’s one of the largest financial institutions in the Middle East with more than 5.4 million customers worldwide. NCB will connect to other financial institutions around the world through RippleNet. Ripple’s blockchain technology also provides their customers with faster and more transparent international payment services. The bank will first connect to financial institutions in North America and Asia, starting in Singapore. Launching these two critical payments corridors out of the gate offers immediate value to NCB’s customers — services in regions that they have not had access to before.
Ripple’s XRP meets Stellar’s Lumens XLM as competition in Islamic banking
A couple of months back, open-source value exchange protocol Stellar had received certification for both its platform and associated cryptocurrency, Lumens (XLM), from the Shariyah Review Bureau — an Islamic advisory firm based in Bahrain.
After having a dialogue for almost a year with various financial firms throughout the Gulf region, Stellar was able to find this breakthrough as it was eager to gain the first mover advantage in the remittances market in the Middle East
Lisa Nestor, director of partnership at Stellar had told Reuters:
“We have been looking to work with companies that facilitate remittances, including in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. It’s a huge market.”
It was clear that Stellar was here to rule the Islamic financial world but now with Ripple’s entry its going to be difficult for Stellar to rule the market in a monopoly. And after losing a client as big as NCB to Ripple, Stellar will have to tighten its shoes if it doesn’t want to lose more market in the Islamic world.
It’s going to be great to see two blockchain companies fighting a competitive battle in the Islamic Remittances market. Whoever may come up as a winner, the actual winner would definitely be blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Who will win the battle in the Islamic World, will it be XRP or XLM? Do let us know your views on the same.