IBM LAUNCHES BLOCKCHAIN-BASED PAYMENT NETWORK: IBM is set to launch Blockchain World Wire, its blockchain-based alternative payments solution. The product is expected to be unveiled at the annual Swift operations conference in October in Sydney, according to Finextra. Blockchain World Wire is positioned toward banks as a simultaneous clearing and settlement solution for cross-border transactions. The move into blockchain payments will see IBM compete with a number of alternatives including industry startup Ripple’s xRapid payments and Swift. Others set to enter the space with similar-minded products include GMO and Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial. IBM has chosen Stellar, an open platform for developing financial products that converts fiat currency into cryptos, to settle transactions across its new payment network. This latest development supports trends we’ve been seeing in the financial services sector, as early experiments of blockchain solutions shift toward deployment for specific case uses. Moreover, the launch of this latest blockchain solution for financial services suggests that the sector remains best placed to benefit from the potential of this nascent technology.