Ripple to Pilot Bhutan’s CBDC Using Private Ledger

The test is part of Bhutan’s goal to bring its population to 85% financial inclusion status by 2023.

AccessTimeIconSep 23, 2021 at 8:11 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:13 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Enterprise blockchain provider Ripple is partnering with Bhutan’s central bank to pilot a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

  • The Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) will use Ripple’s CBDC Private Ledger to run retail, cross-border and wholesale-payments pilot tests of a digital version of the ngultrum, Bhutan’s national currency, the company said in a press release on Thursday. The pilot will be built atop the country’s current payments infrastructure and will be conducted in phases.
  • Bhutan’s stated goal is for its population to reach 85% financial inclusion by 2023. An RMA report published in December last year puts one measure of Bhutan’s financial inclusion at 67.6% in 2019.
  • No date was announced for the trials to start. Ripple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
  • The private ledger, which is based on the open-source XRP Ledger, claims to be 120,000 times more efficient than standard proof-of-work blockchains making it desirable for a carbon-neutral approach, according to the release. The ledger seeks to provide central banks with “flexibility” and “control” without sacrificing financial stability and monetary policy objectives.
  • “Our collaboration with Ripple is testament to the potential of CBDCs to provide an alternative and sustainable digital payment instrument in Bhutan,” said Yangchen Tshogyel, deputy governor of the RMA. “Ripple’s groundbreaking technology will allow for the experimentation of a CBDC with our existing payments infrastructure while ensuring efficient and cost-effective cross-border transfers.”
  • Ripple has been making headway in the cross-border sector with a number of collaborations with banks and other financial institutions. This year, SBI Ripple Asia, a joint venture between SBI Holdings and Ripple, introduced Cambodia’s first international remittance service that uses blockchain rails, among other uses.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.

Sebastian Sinclair

Sebastian Sinclair is a CoinDesk news reporter based in Australia.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.