IBM Partners with Stellar to Create Global Payment System Powered by Blockchain
“World Line has officially launched in over 60 countries, allowing clients to immediately access funds from large financial transactions.”
By Block Society
World Wire officially launched on March 18, 2019 and is available in 72 countries and 44 different currencies worldwide. IBM began working on its World Wire project in October 2017, announcing that it was exploring ways to integrate blockchain technology to resolve international payment inefficiencies.
IBM’s World Wire uses the Stellar protocol to support its point-to-point money transfers, which eliminates the need for third parties and allows financial institutions to immediately settle cross border payments. World Wire is the first blockchain platform that allows for payment messaging, clearing and settlement of transactions on a singular platform.
Funds are settled with Stellar Lumens and a USD backed stable coin (Stronghold).
Jesse Lund, head of IBM Blockchain, shared that IBM chose to partner with Stellar because “We were looking for a blockchain protocol that could compliment what we’ve been doing in the enterprise blockchain space, which is private and permissioned. But as we looked at that other space, which is a public, permissioned network, we needed a protocol that had the capacity to issue tokens and have scalability. Stellar emerged pretty clearly, as it provided the scalability we needed to support the transaction volumes we were looking at, which is thousands of transactions per second.”
Lund explained that in World Wire, IBM “created a new type of payment network that is unique in the sense that it streamlines the ability of businesses and consumers to move money around the world in real time. This enables improved transparency without sacrificing the regulatory controls and policies we need to make sure that there aren’t bad actors in the system. We are convening a brand-new network in 72 countries that will support pay-in and payout end points in 48 currencies.”
“IBM’s World Wire uses the Stellar protocol to support its point-to-point money transfers, which eliminates the need for third parties and allows financial institutions to immediately settle cross border payments.“
World Wire can support additional cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Bitcoin, and IBM plans to add additional digital assets in the future based on client demand.
IBM has already signed letters of intent with six international banks allowing those banks to issue their own stable coins on World Wire. The move is awaiting regulatory approval and the stable coins would be backed by the Euro, Korean Won, Brazilian Real, Philippine Peso and Indonesian Rupiah.
The World Wire platform is meant to offer a cheaper and more efficient way to perform remittance payments. Payments made on World Wire can clear and settle in real time, meaning transfers could be available within seconds.
The transfer process works by both parties agreeing to use a stable coin, digital asset or central bank digital currency as “the bridge asset between any two fiat currencies.” The financial institutions connect their payment system with World Wide’s API, convert the first fiat currency in to a digital asset and World Wire converts the digital asset in to the second fiat currency. The transaction is then recorded on the blockchain.
World Wire supports transfers “of any size to destinations around the world in a variety of asset types.” Additionally, 97% of the world’s largest banks are current IBM clients, giving World Wire immediate access to a strong client pool.
World Wire demonstrates the potential of blockchain technology to resolve inefficient and costly cross border payments by offering immediate access to funds and lower transaction costs. IBM’s collaboration with Stellar likewise should improve Stellar’s future outlook and put additional pressure on the Ethereum network to resolve its scalability issues.
Wolfson, Rachel. 18 March 2019. IBM Launches a Blockchain Based Global Payments Network Using Stellar’s Cryptocurrency. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelwolfson/2019/03/18/ibm-launches-a-blockchain-based-global-payments-network-using-stellars-cryptocurrency/#336c32d953ec
IBM. World Wire. https://www.ibm.com/blockchain/solutions/world-wire
IBM. IBM Blockchain World Wire. https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/VGYAKENA