Ripple’s CBDC Innovate 2023: Leveraging Ripple CBDC for Ecological Insurance – Futurum Tech Webcast

Ripple's CBDC Innovate 2023: Leveraging Ripple CBDC for Ecological Insurance - Futurum Tech Webcast

In this episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast, Steven Dickens welcomes Kennedy Ng’ang’a, founder and CEO of Nairobi-based tech company, Shamba, about leveraging Ripple’s CBDC platform for ecological data integration on blockchain. Shamba focuses on providing crucial ecological data, such as vegetation coverage and rainfall, to drive parametric insurance solutions. Shamba’s solution utilizes the Ripple CBDC platform to create B2B solutions for institutions like banks and insurance companies, which are traditionally averse to other forms of cryptocurrency. The discussion highlights the use of CBDCs in humanitarian and environmental projects, detailing how the company uses satellite data to inform insurance decisions and trigger smart contract events for direct payments to affected parties.

Their discussion covers:

  • How Shamba provides ecological data to the blockchain for parametric insurance.
  • Using the Ripple CBDC platform for B2B solutions in insurance and banking.
  • How CBDCs are leveraged for Web3 applications in humanitarian and environmental projects.
  • How the Shamba Oracle is utilized to trigger payments based on ecological risks.

Learn more about Ripple on the company’s website and Shamba’s entry on Devpost.

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Steven Dickens: Hello and welcome. My name’s Steven Dickins and you’re joining us here for another episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast. We’re recording today with Ripple CBDC Innovate 2023, and I’m joined by Kennedy Ng’ang’a. Hey Kennedy, welcome to the show.

Kennedy Ng’ang’a: Hi Steven. Glad to be here. Thank you for having me.

Steven Dickens: Yeah, great to have you on the show here. So let’s get our listeners and viewers orientated. Tell us a little bit of about your role and what you do.

Kennedy Ng’ang’a: Sure. My name is Kennedy Ng’ang’a. I’m based in Nairobi, Kenya. That’s in East Africa. And I’m the founder and CEO of a technology company that provides ecological data to the blockchain. And we are also the ones who were submitting Block Beamer, which is an application submitted to the CBDC Innovation challenge.

Steven Dickens: So tell me a little bit about the company, what you guys do and where you are leveraging blockchain technology and how you came across working with Ripple.

Kennedy Ng’ang’a: Sure. So what we do is that we make ecological data available on-chain. And ecological data is basically any data that tells us what is happening in the natural world, in the environment. So in this particular case, we are making available data with regards to how much vegetation is on the land, if there’s a wildfire or not, how much rainfall has fallen on the land. And this information can be used for a variety of purposes. One of the most important being climate insurance. So in this app submission, we are providing an application or a solution that is able to tap this ecological data that has been brought on the blockchain to drive parametric insurance.

Steven Dickens: So that’s obviously volatile work. How is the Ripple CBDC platform underpinning what you’re doing?

Kennedy Ng’ang’a: Yes. The Ripple CBDC platform is very important for what we do, because our solution is designed to be a B2B solution that is meant to be used by insurance corporations and banks, as well as microfinance and microinsurance. And these are organizations that are traditionally averse to the other forms of crypto, and therefore CBDC, which is more institutionally friendly, is very suited to implementing these kind of solutions that are meant for these institutional users.

Steven Dickens: So how are you seeing CBDC be used by some of these humanitarian and environmental type projects? I think what you’re doing is fascinating, but could you tell us more about where you see the CBDCs playing a role?

Kennedy Ng’ang’a: Yes. We see CBDC playing a role in driving applications that need to be on Web3. So the hybrid solution which we have developed has both a Web2 and a Web3 component. And this Web3 component is what relies on CBDCs. And therefore it’s not just corporates like banks and insurance companies that can be able to tap into this, but also humanitarian agencies that need to deliver aid to people who have been impacted by climate risks can also tap into CBDCs and the solution that we have developed on Web3.

Steven Dickens: So double clicking a little bit more on the solution. Tell me a little bit about where the Shamba Network fits into the solution and how that plays a role.

Kennedy Ng’ang’a: The solution that we have developed is a parametric insurance solution that aims to provide climate insurance to vulnerable populations in the Global South. And this is where we use data. Ecological on-chain data that is provided by the Shamba Oracle. The Shamba Oracle is a leading ecological data oracle that brings information that is gathered by satellites, run by the likes of NASA, the European Space Agency, and others. It performs analysis on these satellite data sets using the latest in geospatial science and machine learning. And all that information is brought on-chain in order to drive smart contracts and applications that are running on the blockchain. And so our application leverages that Shamba data oracle in order to be able to trigger payments when a particular climate risk has occurred.

Steven Dickens: So you are pulling that data from the oracle. Then you are using that to inform insurance decisions. Am I understanding that correctly? How’s that working in a bit more detail?

Kennedy Ng’ang’a: That is exactly how it works in a nutshell. The oracle is able to pull in data from satellite imagery. It is able to determine if a particular risk has occurred, such as a drought. This information is then delivered to an application that lives on the blockchain, and the application is then able to trigger payments to the affected populations. And so in order to be able to use that application on Web3, the application that is running on the blockchain, we leverage CBDCs, which are held in the smart contracts, that then make the payments out.

Steven Dickens: So based on events that you are seeing, climate events, other events, you’re able to trigger a smart contract event that then pulls through a CBDC to be able to make a payment and really sort of enable that insurance transaction. Is that the right way to think about it?

Kennedy Ng’ang’a: Yes. When an insurance contract is being created, in order to cover a particular climate risk, funds are put in that smart contract in the form of CBDC. And once that risk has been determined to have happened, thanks to the information coming from the oracle, a payment is then made that moves these funds that have been unlocked from the smart contract, and it pays out to the affected parties. And one of the biggest innovations with this is that we’ve even integrated an off-ramp payment that integrates this CBDC payment, together with local digital payment services, allowing even people who do not have crypto wallets to be paid from the CBDC that is held in the smart contracts.

Steven Dickens: And are you doing all of that, Kennedy, with interacting with the Ripple CBDC platform? What’s the sort of interaction there looking like?

Kennedy Ng’ang’a: Yes. Our application has been developed on the Ripple EVM sidechain, which is an Ethereum virtual machine that has been deployed as a side chain for the Ripple network. And so we aim to bridge CBDCs that have been deployed on the main Ripple network to the EVM sidechain, so that those CBDCs can then be held by the smart contracts that power our solution.

Steven Dickens: So it’s pretty fundamental that you integrate with the Ripple CBDC platform in order to be able to use their technology to enable your solution.

Kennedy Ng’ang’a: Exactly. In order for our solution to work, and especially the Web3 component, we do rely on the CBDCs, and this is particularly important because of the target users of our platform, who as I mentioned are institutional users.

Steven Dickens: Kennedy, this has been fantastic, really understanding what you are doing to leverage the Ripple CBDC platform, to enable that to provide Web3 based insurance, to really look at some of the factors from an environmental point of view that are impacting the world. Thank you so much for our conversation today.

Kennedy Ng’ang’a: Thank you, Steven.

Steven Dickens: So you’ve been listening to another episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast, where we’re covering Ripple CBDC Innovate platform. We’ll see you next time. Please click and subscribe and do all those things to feed the algorithm, and we’ll see you on the next episode. Thank you very much for watching.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

Ripple Powering the Next Evolution of Central Bank Digital Currencies

Ripple Acquires Metaco to Expand Crypto Custody Services

Ripple Announces $100 Million Commitment to Global Carbon Markets

Author Information

Regarded as a luminary at the intersection of technology and business transformation, Steven Dickens is the Vice President and Practice Leader for Hybrid Cloud, Infrastructure, and Operations at The Futurum Group. With a distinguished track record as a Forbes contributor and a ranking among the Top 10 Analysts by ARInsights, Steven's unique vantage point enables him to chart the nexus between emergent technologies and disruptive innovation, offering unparalleled insights for global enterprises.

Steven's expertise spans a broad spectrum of technologies that drive modern enterprises. Notable among these are open source, hybrid cloud, mission-critical infrastructure, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and FinTech innovation. His work is foundational in aligning the strategic imperatives of C-suite executives with the practical needs of end users and technology practitioners, serving as a catalyst for optimizing the return on technology investments.

Over the years, Steven has been an integral part of industry behemoths including Broadcom, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and IBM. His exceptional ability to pioneer multi-hundred-million-dollar products and to lead global sales teams with revenues in the same echelon has consistently demonstrated his capability for high-impact leadership.

Steven serves as a thought leader in various technology consortiums. He was a founding board member and former Chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. His role as a Board Advisor continues to shape the advocacy for open source implementations of mainframe technologies.


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