Yesterday IBM announced the “limited production” launch of World Wire, a global payments system that connects banks via the Stellar digital-asset network. The announcement’s emphasis was on cross-border payments, and six international banks have signed letters of intent to create “stablecoins,” or digital currencies that don’t fluctuate in value, for use on the system. For now, only two currencies are on the live World Wire network: Stellar Lumens (XLM) and Stronghold USD, a stablecoin backed by reserves in U.S. dollars.
It’s a big announcement by any measure, as a blue-chip technology firm partners with a long-running (though not precisely well-known) digital currency network to try and reshape the global financial system. But there are still plenty of unanswered questions beyond the headlines. We dug into three.