IBM Blockchain Head: Its a Chain Eat Chain World, Stellar-based World Wire vs Ripple-based xRapid
Jesse Lund is well known to the world as the head of blockchain at IBM, and his confidence in the company shines through as he calls it the world leader for this fintech. During an interview with CNBC, he spoke on the new World Wire platform that was just launched, saying that the plan is to revolutionize certain areas of the financial and banking world.
On March 18th, the IBM Blockchain World Wire was officially announced, offering a payment settlement system with the use of the open source blockchain infrastructure that Stellar provides. Between the blockchain tech and the Stellar protocols, the World Wire offers atomic payment clearing and real-time settlement on a distributed ledger, providing their services in 47 currencies amongst 72 countries.
Additional financial institutions are already interested in trialing the system. He added that IBM has made in the security and confidence of the blockchain industry as a whole.
The interviewer questioned Jesse Lund on whether he believes banks would consider IBM to be a competitor against them, but Lund quickly shut down that notion. Instead, he sees their new endeavor as a way to facilitate payment systems.
The company will only be creating the infrastructure for it, and Lund even said that banks are welcome to use the platform to see for themselves.
IBM’s work has been on creating a foundation that is welcoming to banks, allowing them to expand and create new applications for customers, without creating a platform from scratch.
To reassure potential banks as his customers, he added that the standards from which World Wire was built is the same as the SWIFT payment network around the world. The only real difference is the use of the US Dollar and Stellar Lumens (XLM) as the primary currencies, but it still just sets up the banks as a gateway.
The money flows directly through the gateways, and the banks do not need to participate in the creation of new infrastructure to gain the benefits.
Instead, the available APIs lets the banks easily connect, where fiat currency can become digital tokens. The banks involved agree on the stablecoin or other asset that they want the value to become, and the settlement platform follows those instructions to finish the payment.
Ripple Labs offers a very similar service and has been heralded as the most efficient payment protocol system for their speed of processing cross border payments. The fiat currency specifically uses XRP coins for the conversion, which could pit it as a competitor to the xRapid platform from Ripple.