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IBM Launches “World Wire”

March 20, 2019


IBM does not generally receive the same amount of media coverage or “hype” that many blockchain tech, cryptocurrency focused or financial institutions entering the industry garner. However, the company is constantly pushing forward with blockchain technology innovation and collaborative projects with with both existing companies, blockchain startups, and governments around the world. The most recent launch is a real-time global payments network for regulated financial institutions calle Blockchain World Wire


"We've created a new type of payment network designed to accelerate remittances and transform cross-border payments to facilitate the movement of money in countries that need it most. By creating a network where financial institutions support multiple digital assets, we expect to spur innovation and improve financial inclusion worldwide." - Marie Wieck, General Manager, IBM Blockchain


That platform was designed to optimize and accelerate foreign exchange, cross border payments and remittances, similar to the functioning of SWIFT, but using blockchain related technologies, as Ripple does. World Wire includes an integrated payment messaging, clearing and settlement on one unified network. Further, it does not mandate the use of one stablecoin, but rather allows participants to dynamically choose from a variety of digital assets for settlement processes. The system has been enabled at payment locations in 72 countries, with 47 currencies and 44 banking endpoints.


Early Adopters


"Bradesco continuously adopts innovation that enhances customer experience and improves efficiency. The World Wire Network addresses both of these aspects, and therefore presents a valuable opportunity for Bradesco and its customers in Brazil." - Luiz Carlos Brandao Cavalcanti Junior, Innovation and Digital Channels Executive Director, Banco Bradesco.


World Wire creates a more straight-through model for cross border payments. It was built on the Stellar protocol, making money transfers point-to-point, skipping the complexities of conventional correspondent banking. It reduces intermediaries, accelerating settlement time often to just seconds. This approach improves operational efficiency and potentially most importantly, liquidity management. It wholly streamlines payment reconciliation and reduces overall transaction costs for financial institutions.


At this time, the network supports settlement using Stellar Lumens and a U.S. dollar stable coin through IBM's previously-announced collaboration with Stronghold.  Pending regulatory approvals and other reviews, six international banks are already on board:

  • Banco Bradesco

  • Bank Busan

  • Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC)

  • Three others not yet announced


"RCBC is pleased to be an early innovator with plans to issue our own Peso stable coin on World Wire, pending final approval from our regulators. We're focused on innovation that adds value for our customers, and World Wire presents a tremendous opportunity to transform and enhance our payment infrastructure." - Manny T. Narcisco, First Senior Vice-President, RCBC.




By: BGN Editorial Staff


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