The IBM blockchain payments platform has officially been taken out of beta and is now live, entitled ‘Blockchain World Wire’, it is powered by the Stellar network, with whom it has been working with since October 2017.
‘World Wire’ aims to provide financial institutions with ‘a new way to move money’, according to the website it states that it can:
“simultaneously clear and settle cross-border payments in near real-time”
Essentially, the IBM blockchain payments platform is designed to negate the time heavy and costly intermediary processes that international payments systems have traditionally employed.
Harnessing the Stellar protocol, cross-border payments which can take up to three days to clear will be completed “in seconds”, with all transaction details “recorded onto an immutable blockchain for clearing” on its permission-based blockchain network.
Back in July, IBM partnered with Stronghold, a San Francisco-based crypto startup that had developed an asset-backed token on the Stellar network. With aim of identifying more efficient, safer and faster ways to transact within blockchain business networks, Jesse Lund, IBM’s head of blockchain services for financial institutions, said at the time:
“What we really want to do is enable all sorts of digital transactional networks to settle their transactions with digital fiat currency on the same blockchain networks,”
Utilising blockchain startup Stellar’s protocol for exchanging money, IBM has developed its World Wire APIs that banks are be able to integrate their existing systems into.
The app allows financial institutions to exchange fiat currency into a digital asset, to be sent over a distributed network more securely and instantly. IBM’s website explains:
“Two financial institutions transacting together agree to use a stable coin, central bank digital currency or other digital asset as the bridge asset between any two fiat currencies. The digital asset facilitates the trade and supplies important settlement instructions.”
Now live, World Wire is competing with both Swift, and the blockchain-based network Ripple’s xRapid payments rail, however as the website states, “IBM runs over 60% of the world’s transactional systems”, and has already “built and deployed more than 400 blockchain solutions”, establishing itself as a blockchain pioneer.
The IBM blockchain payments platform is set to be demoed to international banking representatives attending Sibos, the annual ‘Swift’ operations conference in October, in Sydney.
A number of financial institutions have been working towards similar products, such as we.trade developed by nine major European banks. As per a previous BCTech Report, RBS, one of the world’s 30 largest financial institutions is leading a crypto token concept for all banks to use on one network entitled Cordite, developed with R3‘s technology.
This project could see business for the blockchain startup Stellar grow exponentially, which up until now has been popular amongst socially conscious non-profit organisations, especially in the developing world, and interestingly was the blockchain technology behind Ben & Jerry’s climate change initiative with Poseidon.