Yesterday IBM (NYSE: IBM) introduced Blockchain World Wire, a real-time global payments network for regulated financial institutions accessible to more than 50 countries. Designed to optimize and accelerate foreign exchange, cross border payments and remittances, Blockchain World Wire claimants to be the first blockchain network of its kind to integrate payment messaging, clearing and settlement on a single unified network, while allowing participants to dynamically choose from a variety of digital assets for settlement. One of IBM Blockchain World Wire’s partners in this global project is Christchrch, New Zealand- based Stronghold.
Founded in 2017, San Francisco-based Stronghold released Stronghold USD last year, a U.S. dollar token that’s 100% backed by funds on deposit with a qualified SEC custodian. Instead of using traditional banking intermediaries to transmit payments, IBM Blockchain World Wire is using Stronghold USD and other digital currencies to facilitate settlement.
“As a financial institution, we’re in a unique position to innovate when it comes to enabling instant settlement for payments,” said Stronghold CEO and co-founder Tammy Camp. “Integrating our technology with IBM Blockchain World Wire represents a paradigm shift for payment processors.”
Stronghold, a blockchain-enabled financial institution, uses distributed ledger technology to provide a platform with tools that integrate with global financial systems to streamline real time payments while supporting regulatory compliance and improved liquidity.
“We’ve worked extensively with IBM to integrate our platform API with IBM Blockchain World Wire,” added Stronghold CTO and co-founder Sean Bennett. “Because our technology offers maximum transparency and minimal delays, today’s launch represents a significant step forward in distributed ledger technology.”
To recap, World Wire enables regulated financial institutions to expand their business ecosystems more rapidly, while aiming to improve financial inclusion for people around the world through highly secure, point-to-point payment transactions. Unlike conventional correspondent banking, IBM Blockchain World Wire functions to reduce intermediaries and allows users to accelerate settlement times by transmitting monetary value in the form of digital assets known as cryptocurrencies or “stable coins.” This simplified approach is designed to improve operational efficiency and liquidity management, streamline payment reconciliation and reduce overall transaction costs for financial institutions.
“Blockchain provides a unique technology for payments,” stated IBM Blockchain Global Vice President Jesse Lund. “Using World Wire, participants can discover each other’s capabilities, negotiate FX rates, and transfer value in real time. This reduces the need for intermediaries and long durations for clearing and settlements – which ultimately can get money into consumers’ hands faster and more cost-effectively.”
Poised to support more than 50 countries, with 20+ currencies and more than 30 banking endpoints, with the network of financial institutions actively growing, World Wire will certainly be a force to watch.