IBM disclosed earlier this year, details of its ambitious project that hopes to make the cross-border transfer of value a lot faster and cheaper. In the project dubbed World Wire, IBM is partnering with Stellar blockchain to facilitate payments to any part of the world fast and in a straightforward manner.
According to the legend on IBM’s website, the tech company touts its World Wire as: “the new financial rail that simultaneously clears and settles cross-border payments in near real-time.” It integrates existing payment systems, eliminates the costly opacity that riddles the financial transactions space and creates greater financial opportunity for everyone.
These words are a glowing way of describing a product. So you must be asking if World Wire is all that.
The project is timely because the tech world is now seeing a move from cryptocurrency project launches and ICOs to enterprise blockchain usage. Already, the merger of the Internet of Things and blockchain to create what industry players are calling the Blockchain of Things is well underway and with exciting prospects and use-cases.
And, now the world is witnessing even more disruption in the financial transactions and value transfer scene. Ripple was the first project in this space with the mandate of partnering with financial institutions to proffer cross-border payment services. Now JP Morgan has joined the fray, making IBM’s partnership with Stellar the third such venture.
These moves underscore the importance of cheaper, more convenient solutions of their kind.
World Wire Defined
At the IBM Think 2019 Conference where World Wire was unveiled, an IBM executive addressing participants referred to the platform as a global system that wants to synchronize the operations of financial institutions so that they can clear and settle cross-border transactions in real-time.
The platform’s design speeds up and transforms remittances and cross-border cash transfers. By allowing banks and other financial institutions to support numerous virtual currencies, IBM has opened up an avenue that will improve financial inclusion and spur innovation in the financial transfer ecosystem on a global scale.
World Wire’s unified platform allows financial institutions to perform easy and efficient transfers since payment messaging as well as clearing and payment of money all happen in the unified platform.
In essence, World Wire will eliminate some of the functions of financial institutions and their intermediaries in cross-border payment services and options.
Stellar provides the blockchain platform upon which World Wire is hinged. It allows World Wire to provide financial transfer capabilities in real-time while using cryptocurrencies as the bridge coinage. Overall, the platform hopes to cut the duration of doing a transfer and have it between 5 and 10 seconds.
World Wire Seeks to Change the Payment Landscape
Aside from heightened payment processing and lower costs of transactions, the innovation presents even more benefits. For instance, it will allow for concurrent clearing and settlement of transactions and improve the resolution and reconciliation of arising disputes. Moreover, World Wire architecture eliminates the need for multiple parties in the transaction processing space.
The Cross-border transaction will now cost less and require even lesser capital implications. Also, World Wire will reduce the duration and cost of connecting new markets to sources of capital. The financial transaction ecosystem will witness end-to-end transparency and a standardized exchange fee regardless of the currency being transferred.
Importantly, World Wire brings a simplified platform that is configuration-ready and that can amalgamate with any system.
The Stellar Blockchain Revolutionizing Cross-Border Money Transfer
In a world where remittances and cross-border transaction comes to about $570 billion annually, improved and efficient services are now dire. Incidentally, and despite such glaring statistics, service provision in the financial transfer market still does not adequately meet the growing demand.
Banking processes are still grossly inefficient, and clearing and settling financial transactions involve many parties. Moreover, the processes are time-consuming and costly. World Wire is riding a wave that wants to create a market out of the opportunities that the current inefficiencies are causing.
Paving the Road to the Future
In Summation, almost everyone now understands or feels deeply that cryptocurrencies are the future of money. Any process to the future of finance, as such, only makes sense if it provides solutions that are spurred by Bitcoin and other altcoins. World Wire uses the coins to make transactions faster, less costly and convenient.
And, in as much as financial giants are still running the show, World Wire and the Stellar blockchain Seems a lot like the carrier of the iPhone moment that will eventually make cryptocurrencies mainstream. Its mandate to partner with financial institutions while improving efficiency will eliminate one of the hurdles that cryptocurrencies have faced this far; die-hard banks that believe only in fiat currencies and that think that making crypto conventional or mainstream is a threat to their mainstay.
Right now, it is safe to assume that World Wire presents a good argument for where the future of the financial space is truly headed.