Case Study

IBM World Wire

IBM World Wire makes it cheap and easy for financial institutions to send any currency anywhere in the world using Stellar.

Financial institutions integrate their existing systems with the World Wire API, send a payment through a Stellar-based bridge asset, and settle on the Stellar network.

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Organization

IBM Blockchain

Industry

Cross-border payments

Location

Global

“Cross-border payments today are time-consuming and costly, and that all changes with Stellar.”

Jesse Lund

Former Vice President · IBM Blockchain

Problem

Every day, financial institutions move trillions of dollars from country to country and currency to currency using a payment system designed over 50 years ago. It’s slow, expensive, and unnecessarily complicated.

Solution

IBM World Wire connects financial institutions to Stellar to allow simultaneous clearing and settlement of cross-border payments. It’s fast, safe, and cheap, and it’s available 24/7.

Implementation

Regulated financial institutions apply to join World Wire and are vetted by IBM. Approved subscribers connect their existing front-end interfaces to World Wire APIs to submit transactions to the Stellar network. IBM also curates a list of Stellar-network assets, which includes both XLM and third-party-issued stablecoins, that World Wire participants can use as a bridge currency for transactions.

Why Stellar?

Stablecoins

World Wire subscribers transact using bridge assets, many of which are stablecoins. Stellar makes issuing assets easy, and is the only blockchain built with stablecoins in mind.

Compliance

World Wire customers are regulated financial institutions, so they need to comply with KYC and AML requirements. By allowing issuers to control access to the assets they issue, Stellar makes compliance easy.

Instant finality

The Stellar Consensus Protocol prevents forks, keeping all assets on one global ledger and allowing for immediate settlement of payments.

Scalability

World Wire’s coverage of 72 countries and 47 currencies requires a network that can handle high transaction volumes relative to other blockchains.

Nonprofit

IBM believes an open-source standard for payments should be stewarded by a nonprofit foundation.