IBM World Wire Goes Live, Six International Banks to Issue Stablecoins on New Network

US tech giant IBM has announced the launch of its Stellar blockchain-powered real-time global payments network.

IBM announced on Monday the launch of IBM Blockchain World Wire, a real-time global payments network. Six international banks have already signed letters of intent to issue their own stablecoins using the new solution from the US technology giant.

IBM’s World Wire project was first revealed in October 2017. The company said at the time that the network will be powered by the Stellar public blockchain and use its native token, Lumens (XLM), as a base settlement instrument for fiat currencies.

Now live, World Wire has enabled payment locations in 72 countries, with 47 currencies and 44 banking endpoints, with plans to grow the network with additional financial institutions globally. As noted in IBM’s press release announcing the launch, the service is the first such implementation to integrate payment messaging, clearing, and settlement “while allowing participants to dynamically choose from a variety of digital assets for settlement.”

“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,” IBM Blockchain General Manager Marie Wieck was quoted as saying. “By creating a network where financial institutions support multiple digital assets, we expect to spur innovation and improve financial inclusion worldwide.”

Pending regulatory approvals and other reviews, six international banks will create their own stablecoins backed by their national fiat currencies on World Wire. The list includes Brazil’s Banco Bradesco, South Korea’s Bank Busan, and the Philippines’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC). IBM has yet to name the rest of the interested banks. The company only revealed that their stablecoins would be backed by the Euro and Indonesian Rupiah.

RCBC first senior vice president Manny Narcisco commented on the World Wire concept, noting that the network “presents a tremendous opportunity to transform and enhance our payment infrastructure.”  Luiz Carlos Brandao Cavalcanti Junior, innovation and digital channels executive director at Banco Bradesco, echoed this sentiment:

“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.”

Meanwhile, there has been a spate of positive XLM news and its recent listing on Coinbase (after Coinbase Pro) has resulted in its price rising above $0.11 at the time of writing.

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