IBM Unveils Crypto-Powered Payment System for Banks and $2 Trillion Industry Using Stellar Protocol

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Tech giant IBM has introduced Blockchain World Wire (BWW), a cross-border payment system designed to eliminate banking intermediaries, cut costs and lower transaction times for traditional international payments.

According to IBM’s announcement about World Wire, “the new financial rail” can simultaneously clear and settle cross-border payments in near real-time.

World Wire uses the Stellar protocol and an intermediary cryptocurrency, such as the Stronghold USD stablecoin, to enable financial institutions to clear and settle cross-border payments in seconds.

“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.”

McKinsey & Company reports that the payments market is expected to reach $2 trillion by 2020.

BWW offers a list of rich features.

  • One exchange fee between all currencies
  • End-to-end transparency
  • Simplified, configuration-ready solution integrates with any system
  • Support payments of any size, to any destination, in any asset type
  • Security-rich network with robust access controls

To ramp up the number of participants, BWW is highlighting its ease of use.

“The institutions use their existing payment systems – seamlessly connected to World Wire’s APIs – to convert the first fiat currency into the digital asset.

World Wire then simultaneously converts the digital asset into the second fiat currency, completing the transaction. All transaction details are recorded onto an immutable blockchain for clearing.”

Ripple’s xRapid is also designed to reduce friction for cross-border payments. Similarly, the new “TCP-IP”-like protocol that is being developed by Javascript creator Brendan Eich and members of the Universal Protocol Platform aims to use a proxy token to facilitate cross-chain transactions.

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An increasing number of blockchain solutions are facilitating the interoperability of different blockchains and different fiat currencies. This is one of the key ways in which cryptocurrencies can be used to create a web that transfers value among businesses and between entities across the globe.

IBM also notes that it provides alternative methods for customers who prefer not to use digital currencies.

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