IBM has announced IBM Blockchain World Wire, a real-time global payments network for regulated financial institutions, is officially accessible in a growing number of markets.

Designed to optimise and accelerate foreign exchange, cross-border payments and remittances, IBM says that it is the first blockchain network of its kind to integrate payment messaging, clearing and settlement on a single unified network, while allowing participants to dynamically choose from a variety of digital assets for settlement.

Today World Wire has enabled payment locations in 72 countries, with 47 currencies and 44 banking endpoints. Local regulations will continue to guide activation, and IBM is actively growing the network with additional financial institutions globally.

The network provides a more straight-through model for cross border payments using the Stellar protocol that makes money transfers point-to-point in lieu of the complexities of conventional correspondent banking. It reduces intermediaries and allows users to accelerate settlement time often in seconds by transmitting monetary value in the form of digital assets, commonly known as cryptocurrencies. IBM says this simplified approach improves operational efficiency and liquidity management, streamlining payment reconciliation and reducing overall transaction costs for financial institutions.

The network already supports settlement using Stellar Lumens and a US dollar stable coin through the company’s previously announced collaboration with Stronghold. Pending regulatory approvals and other reviews, six international banks, including Banco Bradesco, Bank Busan, and Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), have signed letters of intent to issue their own stable coins on World Wire, adding euro, Indonesian rupiah, Philippine peso, Korean won and Brazilian real stable coins to the network. IBM will continue to expand the ecosystem of settlement assets based on client demand.