SWIFT Rep Calls Crypto Useless Because Of Volatility But Facebook-led Libra Could Disrupt Payments

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has recently talked about cryptocurrencies. According to the organization, cryptocurrencies are useless because they are too unstable.

SWIFT representatives claimed that the value of Bitcoin and other cryptos goes down like a yoyo, which makes it untrustworthy. They believe that even if some crypto companies can make a more stable investment, it is because they offer a basket of currencies.

The members of the group also affirmed that they do not feel threatened by cryptos, but they are fairly aware of their issues. For instance, they recognize that SWIFT payments can take a lot of time.

However, despite being aware of all these issues with efficiency, the group does not feel threatened by SWIFT. Even solutions such as Ripple’s xRapid, which basically can do the same that SWIFT does now, is not recognized as a threat, at least publicly.

Curiously, the main rival that was actually recognized by SWIFT is Libra, the new stablecoin created by Facebook. The new crypto-like currency will be used on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram and it will reach the 2.7 billion user base of Facebook if the project is approved in the whole world.

Despite these concerns, however, SWIFT believes that the impact of the new Libra initiative can be limited. Facebook is facing a lot of scrutiny around its plans and the regulators do not seem very eager to approve its new token, so this might mean that the market may not be so affected if some countries decide not to accept the new token.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

SWIFT and the International Real-Time Payments Race: The Cross Border Service Battle Wages On

SWIFT and the International Real-Time Payments Race: The Cross Border Service Battle Wages On

Leading payments platform Swift on July 16 announced its plan to dominate the international payment sector, the plan was revealed in a press release , which was readily available on the firm’s website.

The ‘Payment’ Struggle

The new drive and enthusiasm by swift is a direct reaction to the “One Currency To Rule Them All” initiative by Facebook, which according to a Forbes report is causing an uproar among both the traditional financial sector and the cryptocurrency industry, without sparing governments and regulatory agencies.

The introduction of the Libra project by Facebook has taken virtually every major player in the sector back to the drawing board, and Swift is not exempted. According to the Press release:

‘’ Swift’s aim is simple: to make cross-border payments real-time 24/7 and as seamless, convenient, cost-efficient and accessible as domestic payments.

With the projected potential of Libra, and the publicity power it possesses through social media applications like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, financial institutions and international payment platforms all over the world, may find it hard to keep up, and as such, must find a way to step up their game before Libra gain more prominence.

A Swift Cryptocurrency in View?

Some analysts are thus of the opinion that Swift might also launch its own cryptocurrency, to tackle the Libra coin, but others are of the opinion that a Swift coin will do nothing but add to what the company sees as the real problem of international payments, namely the proliferation of self-contained currency systems such as Bitcoin, JPM Coin and others.

Swift is thus antagonizing those who favour multiple competing tokens for international payments, the payment platform points out that each token ultimately serves its own community, but that there is still a need for an interoperability protocol that enables people to transfer value across different currencies and tokens, and that loophole is what Swift plans to exploit.

The payment platform also has a word or two for the banking industry. Swift advised the banks that if it is still interested in keeping its customer base, it can’t continue to do the same thing and expect it will survive.

It is also of the opinion that most customers are tired of the old way, and that if the banks do not step up and move with the tide, it will not only lose customers but die because it won’t be able to keep up.

The Swift platform is not one that is scared of healthy competition from rivals, Bitcoin Exchange Guide reported that Swift announced the launch of the trial of distributed ledger technology integration with R3.

The established payment platform stated that the new development will allow it to monitor payment flows and support APIs using the SWIFT and ISO standards.

The idea at inception was to link the GPI Link and Corda to authorize payments via the two sides. GPI payment will then be settled by banks and the credit confirmations will be sent.

The struggle to determine the leading payment solution will continue to generate a lot of attention, as virtually everybody is up in arms against Libra.

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Author: Ogwu Emma

INSTEX Now Operational, Could Trigger Trump & Bitcoin

INSTEX Now Operational, Could Trigger Trump & Bitcoin
  • SWIFT US’s tool to sanction war, now bypassed by EU and Iran
  • EU mechanism to trade with Iran by evading US sanctions process first transactions
  • Long Bitcoin, short the “US monetary hegemony”

A special trade vehicle designed to allow limited trade between the EU and Iran is now up and running, that will avoid sanctions from the United States.

Following a meeting of the six world powers and Iran to the 2015 nuclear deal that the US abandoned last year, European External Action Services said that this vehicle is operational, in a statement on Friday.

“France, Germany and the United Kingdom informed participants that INSTEX had been made operational and available to all EU member states and that the first transactions are being processed,” reads an excerpt of the statement published on the official website of the European Union.

The EU pledged to accelerate the cooperation with the Iranian corresponding entity (STFI) as well.

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies Could Play a Role Here

When first announcing the creation of the INSTEX in January, the EU said it would be “focusing initially on the sectors most essential to the Iranian population — such as pharmaceutical, medical devices, and agri-food goods.” However, this is far from the inflow of foreign trade promised by the JCPOA.

INSTEX basically provides a mechanism for EU companies to pursue transactions with Iran outside of Swift, avoiding the US sanctions and financial systems.

This system can also accelerate a broader acceptance of cryptocurrency in Iran, as previously reported.

The system is aimed at reducing the amount of cross-currency transactions and when too many imports are placed in Europe relative to export orders into Iran, Bitcoin here can play a role in direct currency exchanges that is central bank to central bank.

Iran already has a high interest in cryptocurrency as the government legalized Bitcoin mining in the country. Moreover, LocalBitcoins officially shut off its service for Iran-based users because of rising rial trading volume on the platform, US sanctions being the likely cause.

Iran even proposed state backed cryptocurrency to evade the sanctions.

INSTEX to Trigger Trump

The instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) is aimed at facilitating trade with Iran by circumventing the sanctions imposed by the US after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal last year and now wants a new agreement.

Though calling the meeting “positive” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi said:

“it is still not enough and it is still not meeting Iran’s expectations.”

The 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was the product of extensive diplomacy between Iran and the US and China, Germany, France, Russia, the UK, and the EU. Under the terms of this deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for billions, which was opposed by Republicans and some US allies in the Middle East.

“Long bitcoin. Short US monetary hegemony,” responded a Bitcoin enthusiast to this news.

USA used SWIFT as a tool in its sanctions war and now Europe has developed INSTEX to bypass SWIFT. This will not only trigger Trump but will have geopolitical implications as well.

Back in May, Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence warned that anyone associated with it will have to face “severe consequences” and further “loss of access to the U.S. financial system.” Geopolitical tensions will only further lead people to Bitcoin.

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Author: AnTy

SWIFT Payment Protocol Embraces New Blockchain Initiative To Improve Its Services

SWIFT Payment Protocol Embraces New Blockchain Initiative To Improve Its Services
  • SWIFT is working with blockchain technology to improve its services and remain competitive
  • Several blockchain firms have entered the financial market during the last few years

SWIFT, one of the most recognized providers of financial services around the world, announced that it is moving all in on blockchain and open finance. The main intention is to remain competitive in the blockchain market that is welcoming new participants and initiatives that could harm its market share.

SWIFT Works On New Blockchain Initiative

According to Finder, SWIFT released a new paper titled: Payments: Looking into the Future, that was written by the CEO of the company Gottfried Leibbrant and the CMO Luc Meurant. In this paper, they inform that they will be pulling all the world’s banks onto a blockchain network. This would allow third-party businesses to develop their own financial services and applications within the ecosystem.

In order for banks and financial institutions to compete in this market, it is necessary for them to use open systems. According to SWIFT, this is “do or die in payments.”

About it, SWIFT wrote:

“We don’t think that cross-border payments challenges should be solved for with closed loop systems. Doing so would easily solve for a subset – or multiple subsets – of participants, but value needs to move everywhere – from every account, to every account. Loops create barriers and friction; they reduce fungibility and portability, they limit competition and they fragment liquidity.”

Banks have also to adapt to these new realities in which blockchain technology is surging and helping firms to improve their services and products. As the CEO and CMO of SWIFT explain, value needs to shift further and faster. This is why they consider only a seamless open global value transfer system can enable this.

The authors of the paper explained that there are key players around the world that have the ambition and commitment to realize the goal of improving their services by embracing new technologies. According to Finder, GPI (Global Payments Innovation) is the answer that SWIFT has to all the dust blockchain that has been growing in the last years. After trying during the last years, they have confirmed that distributed ledger technology (DLT) is going to be at their core.

With their approach, banks can differentiate themselves by layering services and new products so as to distinguish their offerings. Moreover, FinTechs and other players can also create and offer new value-added services.

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Author: Carl T