VideoBytes discusses Swift and it’s challengers including Ripple and others.
Telegraphy has its roots in Napoleonic times when optical messages were sent
Electronic Telegraphy was used on railways in Britain in mid 19th Century
It was really perfected by Samuel Morse into an international standard in 1865. Banks employed ex Army Signal men and used Telegrams to confirm transactions but because it cost so much per word messages were sent by code which led to mistakes and needed a more secure way to transmit information especially for transferring money between financial institutions.
The need to send messages and information grew as multinational trade expanded and in 1866 the first transatlantic submarine-cable was opened which allowed much greater flow of information between London and New York and this is where the expression ‘cable’ comes from when describing the exchange rate between $ and £
We then saw the rise of the teleprinter exchange (Telex) and by 1957 had connected 30,000 subscribers to send and receive messages. Private firms tried to develop their own systems and Citibank created MARTI although other banks were reluctant to rely on a competitor. In 1977 S
In 1973 based in Belgium Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) was developed to transmit messages about the transfer of funds between banks and by 1977 it officially turned on – growth YTD 16.96% Used by 10,000 financial institutions in 200+ countries 36million messages day .
SWIFT is centralised and is facing pressure from super powers who wish to track assets belonging to terrorist, rouge states or other nefarious actors
Now we are seeing new entrants challenging SWIFT’s monopoly using Blockchain technology – Ripple, Stellar claiming to be more de-centralized, faster cheaper and being digital more suitable for our increasingly digital economy.
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