Six international banks have reportedly signed letters of intent to issue their own stablecoins backed by their national fiat currencies on IBM’s now-live blockchain-powered payments network, “World Wire.” The news was jointly announced by IBM and Stellar during a keynote at Money 2020 Asia in Singapore, financial news channel Cheddar reported on March 18.
As previously reported, IBM’s cross-border payment network, Blockchain World Wire (BWW) was launched in collaboration with Stellar (XLM) in September 2018. BWW, which went live today and reportedly has over 44 banks on service, aims to leverage cryptocurrencies to enable near real-time international settlements between banks.
In today’s development, Cheddar reports that six banks have confirmed their intent to issue stablecoins backed by their national fiat currencies on BWW — including Brazil’s Banco Bradesco, South Korea’s Bank Busan and the Philippines’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation.
Other as-yet-undisclosed banks will reportedly issue stablecoins backed by the euro and Indonesian rupiah, among others, IBM head of blockchain solutions Jesse Lund revealed.
Ahead of today’s bank-issued stablecoin announcement, IBM had also partnered with Stronghold, a Stellar-based, USD-backed asset, to create the Stellar network’s first stablecoin.
Lund has stated that IBM plans to expand its blockchain-powered settlement network with further assets. He said:
"We let the market drive the expansion and selection of the network incrementally. We are really feeling excited that we are on a roll to build something new and revolutionary that's really going to change the landscape of cross-border payments."
As Cheddar reports, BWW currently supports more than 47 currencies for payments across 72 countries. It disintermediates legacy bank settlement systems by introducing the XLM token as an efficient, immutably-tracked settlement instrument for fiat currencies between institutional parties.
IBM does not issue the settlement asset chosen between parties, as Lund had emphasized in an interview earlier this week:
“Our view for stablecoins is really that they should be more broadly accessible and what World Wire seeks to do is to provide fungibility of digital assets across financial institutions.”