IBM’s Stellar-powered global remittance platform now has six banks on board. Today, the tech giant announced World Wire will power payments and foreign exchange services across 72 countries.“World Wire provides a more straight-through model for cross border payments using the Stellar protocol that makes money transfers point-to-point in lieu of the complexities of conventional correspondent banking. It reduces intermediaries and allows users to accelerate settlement time often in seconds by transmitting monetary value in the form of digital assets, commonly known as cryptocurrencies or ‘stablecoins.’ This simplified approach improves operational efficiency and liquidity management, streamlining payment reconciliation and reducing overall transaction costs for financial institutions.”
Announced Monday, six international banks have signed letters of intent to issue stablecoins, or tokens backed by fiat currency, on World Wire, an IBM payment network that uses the Stellar public blockchain. The network promises to let regulated institutions move value across borders — remittances or foreign exchange — more quickly and cheaply than the legacy correspondent banking system. So far three of the banks have been identified — Philippines-based RCBC, Brazil’s Banco Bradesco, and Bank Busan of South Korea — the rest, which are soon to be named, will offer digital versions of euros and Indonesian rupiah, “pending regulatory approvals and other reviews,” IBM said. The network went live Monday, although while the banks await their regulators’ blessings, the one stablecoin running on World Wire at the moment is a previously announced U.S. dollar-backed token created by Stronghold, a startup based in San Francisco.
IBM and Columbia University have announced two blockchain accelerator programs that aim to help startups in the space innovate at scale, according to an IBM news release Nov. 19. Both programs form part of the Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency, a joint innovation center that was established by the tech giant and U.S. ivy league school this summer. According to the release, each program will support ten startups, offering them a network of business mentors, technical support, access to Columbia’s student talent and “research community,” design assistance, and IBM cloud technology resources………….