It seems that if there’s one space in which blockchain adoption is picking pace the fastest, it’s financial space. Almost every week we’re hearing of some major financial companies utilizing blockchain technology for some purpose, and the trend doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of cooling down anytime soon. We recently saw how Visa has established a cryptocurrency unit in its offices, and now it’s turning out that six major global banks have signed letters of intent with IBM to issue their own stablecoins on the top of IBM’s now live blockchain payments system World Wire.
The news was announced by none other than IBM itself. The company said in a joint statement issued with Stellar at Money 2020 conference in Singapore that its Blockchain World Wire (BWW) service, which was developed jointly with Stellar, has gone live today with the support of as many as 44 banks. Now out of these 44 banks, six have confirmed themselves that they’re part of the game. The names of those banks include Banco Bradesco of Brazil, Bank Busan of South Korea and Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation of Philippines. Other banks, whose names are yet to be disclosed, are perhaps from European Union and Indonesia as their stablecoins are going to be pegged to the value of Euro and Indonesian Rupaiah.
Currently, the BWW platform supports 42 currencies and payments across 72 countries. IBM’s head of blockchain Mr. Jesse Lund said that his team plan to further expand this reach globally. He said:
“We let the market drive the expansion and selection of the network incrementally. We are really feeling excited that we are on a roll to build something new and revolutionary that’s really going to change the landscape of cross-border payments.”
The BWW system of real-time payment settlements excludes the intermediaries like SWIFT and facilitates direct transfer between two institutions with the help of XLM tokens. These tokens are efficient and immutably trackable instruments for the transfer of fiat currencies between two banks. It’s worth noting that IBM doesn’t issue any of the settlement assets chosen between the two parties, as Lund emphasized in another interview earlier this week. He said:
“Our view for stablecoins is really that they should be more broadly accessible and what World Wire seeks to do is to provide fungibility of digital assets across financial institutions.”
It will be interesting to see whether or not our country India emerges among those 72 countries where payments can be sent using this system. As of now it looks very difficult, but let’s see!