Computing giant IBM has launched a blockchain-based financial solution that it says has the potential to completely upend the existing status quo in global payments and remittances.
The new solution called ‘IBM Blockchain World Wire‘ combines the Stellar blockchain with digital assets to make instant money transfers of a guaranteed value possible.
In July, IBM backed a dollar-pegged stablecoin issued by Stronghold on the Stellar network. In the same month, IBM announced that it was involved in an environmentally friendly crypto project also built on Stellar.
The new Stellar-based platform describes itself as a “financial rail that can simultaneously clear and settle cross-border payments in near real-time.” According to IBM, World Wire integrates readily with any existing payment system and it supports payments of any size, to any destination, in any asset type within a high-security environment.
Describing World Wire’s potential utility, information from IBM says in part:
“With IBM Blockchain World Wire, clearing and settlement with finality happens in near real-time. The solution uses digital assets to settle transactions — serving as an agreed-upon store of value exchanged between parties — as well as integrating payment instruction messages. It all means funds can now be transferred at a fraction of the cost and time of traditional correspondent banking.”
How it Works
Under the World Wire framework, the transacting financial institutions can use a digital asset of their choice, be it central bank digital currency, crypto or stablecoin as a bridge between two fiat currencies. The digital asset facilitates the trade and supplies important settlement instructions for the transaction to be confirmed.
Using a connection to the World Wire API, institutions can use their existing payment systems to seamlessly convert their fiat currencies into the desired digital asset to be traded. The platform then simultaneously converts the digital asset into the second fiat currency (for the receiver), which completes the transaction almost instantaneously.
All transactions are recorded on the Stellar blockchain for security and clearing purposes, and this also helps with regulatory compliance because there is effectively a permanent record of every transaction that takes place using World Wire.
According to IBM, the benefits of the new solution include faster payment processing, simultaneous clearing and settlement, reduced time to dispute resolution and reconciliation and substantially lower clearing costs.
World Wire also reportedly eliminates the presence of multiple parties in a single transaction and it vastly reduces the capital requirements for cross-border transactions. In addition, IBM says that World Wire enhanced end-to-end transparency by using one exchange fee between all currencies, and it potentially reduces the existing time and cost profile of connecting with new markets and revenue flows.
Apart from being the latest of IBM’s well-documented forays into blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, the launch of IBM Blockchain World Wire also underlines the growing influence of Stellar which recently hit a milestone of 1,000,000 accounts.