IBM's blockchain-based real-time global payments network has begun rollout, with several banks also committing to issue their own stable coins on the platform.
First unveiled last year, IBM Blockchain World Wire provide banks with a means to simultaneously clear and settle near real-time payments transactions across borders.
Big Blue claims it is 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.
Taking on Swift and Ripple's xRapid payments rail, World Wire uses the Stellar protocol to make money transfers point-to-point, cutting the need for conventional correspondent banking. Settlement time can be reduced to seconds by transmitting monetary value in the form of digital assets - stable coins.
Marie Wieck, GM, IBM Blockchain, says: "By creating a network where financial institutions support multiple digital assets, we expect to spur innovation and improve financial inclusion worldwide."
Currently, the network supports settlement in Stellar Lumens and a US dollar stable coin. It has already enabled payment locations in 72 countries, with 47 currencies and 44 banking endpoints.
Now, IBM says that it has signed letters of intent from six international banks ready to issue their own stable coins, subject to regulatory approval. The banks include Banco Bradesco, Bank Busan, and Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, adding Euro, Indonesian Rupiah, Philippine Peso, Korean Won and Brazilian Real coins.
Manny Narcisco, first SVP, RCBC, says: "We're focused on innovation that adds value for our customers, and World Wire presents a tremendous opportunity to transform and enhance our payment infrastructure."