Blockchain: Jump-Start the Revolution to Quicker Cross-Border Transactions

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Have you ever transferred money to a family member in another country? Or paid an overseas vendor in local currency?

In today’s digital, real-time connected world, these types of transactions should be simple, quick, and low-risk. However, the reality is cross-border payments involve multiple intermediaries, include significant costs, take several days to process, and are subject to local banking standards.

Blockchain technology provides the promise of cross-border payment networks that ensure trust, accountability, and validity among enterprises and regulators as well as consumers. Ultimately, this means faster, less costly payments.

How close is blockchain to becoming reality? Three key components are accelerating its adoption:

Open source

Blockchain technology can potentially disrupt many industries as well as improve existing business processes beyond cross-border payments. However, to do so, blockchain must be compatible and interoperable with systems. The best way to achieve this is to build the foundation for the future using open-source software that has friendly licensing and technology governed by multiple parties.

The Linux Foundation is the gold standard for open source, and the Hyperledger Project will enable innovation and facilitate blockchain’s uptake. Since its launch in January 2016, the community has garnered more than 30 members. Several companies, including IBM, have contributed software code.

Developer friendly

Whether you’re a novice or have already kicked the tires a bit with blockchain, learning to create a blockchain network, build digital assets, and experiment with writing business logic for use in smart contracts are fundamental components in blockchain solution development.

The IBM Blockchain service on Bluemix provides developers with the tools to learn and experiment. It also offers a few sample applications featuring live demos and code that runs on IBM Bluemix. From trading marbles to commercial paper, IBM Blockchain helps you imagine how this technology can revolutionize the future of transactions.

Client vision

Reimagining the world of cross-border payments may seem like a daunting project. A good approach is to define a bold vision and then work in incremental steps to solve everyday business challenges with blockchain. Start small, for example, with a project on identity and compliance to get comfortable with who is in your network or ensure AML/KYC compliance. Or maybe begin by writing the business logic for the first leg of a cross-border payment.

From a quick conversation to a two-day design thinking session at one of our IBM Bluemix garages for blockchain, there are options to help you realize your vision and build your blockchain solution.

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