Finally, after months of waiting for Stellar supporters, IBM officially launch their much anticipated Universal Payments System as ‘IBM Blockchain World Wire’. The Stellar protocol is clearly mentioned front and center under ‘how’ World Wire works, forming a key part of the technical framework for near instant cross-border payments.

Using blockchain technology and the Stellar protocol, IBM Blockchain World Wire makes it possible for financial institutions to clear and settle cross-border payments in seconds.’

Benefits of ‘Word Wire’ include faster payment processing (simultaneous clearing and settlement), lower costs, increased efficiency and simplified payment and asset type form of transaction. With 97% of the world’s largest banks as clients of IBM there remains little doubt that their new flagship payments system won’t be heavily advertised to their existing customer and client base.

The underlying process of exactly what occurs during these cross-border transactions is explained, and uncovers further exciting revelations. ‘Central bank digital currency’, for example, is suggested as one type of digital asset on the network to be used for these new cross border payments. Following Stanley Yong’s (ex Monetary Authority of Singapore and now CTO and Global Lead at IBM for Central Bank Digital Currency) ‘Desirability and Necessity of a Central Bank Digital Currency for Blockchainspresentation, CBDCs are all but confirmed as an integral part to IBM’s cross-border payments ecosystem. In short – CBDCs will be used on the Stellar network.

The importance of a CBDC on a blockchain network (and specifically on Stellar’s network) cannot be overstated. It would provide the legitimacy that the industry and blockchain technology has been generally lacking.

With a potential slice of a $2-trillion-dollar payments industry by 2020, the competition for this sector has increased significantly. Today marks the official flag in the ground for both IBM and Stellar with a clear message to the rest of the industry – we are here and we are going to transform the financial world.

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