ISO 20022 Network Ecosystem Cryptocurrencies
In this article, I will be discussing the ISO 20022 standard and it’s impact on cryptocurrency. I will also describe the cryptocurrencies that make use of the ISO 20022 standard.
Let’s get started.
Introducing ISO 20022
ISO 20022 is a global standard for electronic payments messaging, developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It provides a common language and syntax for financial transactions, including payment initiation, clearing and settlement, and reconciliation.
ISO 20022 is designed to replace older messaging standards used in the financial industry, such as SWIFT MT and Fedwire, which have been in use for decades. It offers several advantages over these legacy systems, including greater efficiency, improved interoperability, and richer data sets.
ISO 20022 Impact on Cryptocurrency
In terms of its impact on cryptocurrency, ISO 20022 is likely to play a significant role in facilitating the integration of digital assets into the traditional financial system. Many cryptocurrency exchanges and payment processors already support ISO 20022 messaging, which enables them to communicate with traditional banks and financial institutions.
By adopting ISO 20022 standards, cryptocurrency firms can more easily integrate with existing payment networks, and potentially offer faster, more reliable, and more cost-effective payment services. This could also help to increase adoption of cryptocurrencies as a payment method, as more merchants and consumers become able to transact seamlessly between fiat and digital currencies.
ISO 20022 could also help to improve transparency and reduce fraud in the cryptocurrency space, by providing more detailed transaction data and standardized reporting requirements. This could also help regulators to more effectively monitor and supervise cryptocurrency transactions, potentially reducing the risk of illicit activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing.
Adoption of ISO 20022 by Financial Institutions
The adoption of ISO 20022 has been accelerating in recent years, as digital currencies become more widely used in societies throughout the world.
One significant development is the migration of major financial networks to the ISO 20022 standard. For example, in the US, the Federal Reserve is in the process of migrating to ISO 20022 for its Fedwire Funds Service and Fedwire Securities Service. The switchover date for the is expected to be March 10, 2025. The adoption of ISO 20022 by Fedwire will enable faster and more efficient settlement of high-value payments and securities transactions.
Similarly, in Europe, the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) has already migrated to ISO 20022 for cross-border payments, and other regional payment networks are also following suit.
In the cryptocurrency space, several major players have already adopted the ISO 20022 standard. For example, Ripple, a leading provider of blockchain-based payment solutions, supports ISO 20022 messaging on its platform. This enables RippleNet users to integrate with traditional financial networks using a common language and syntax. Other crypto networks have also adopted ISO 20022 messaging, as I’ll explain below.
In addition, several central banks are exploring the use of ISO 20022 for digital currencies and other digital assets. For example, the Bank of Japan is reportedly considering the use of ISO 20022 for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) project, and the European Central Bank has also expressed interest in the standard for its digital euro initiative.
These developments suggest that the adoption of ISO 20022 is gaining momentum, and it is likely to play an increasingly important role in the future of payments, both in traditional finance and in the emerging world of cryptocurrencies.
It is inevitable that the ISO 20022 standard and the concepts that underlie it will have increasing impact on how the world makes financial transactions.
In 2023, there are 6 cryptocurrencies (financial networks or protocols) that are already compliant with the ISO 20022 standard, making them integral parts of the developing interledger ecosystem. Others will likely come on board, but it’s important to know which cryptocurrencies are already in the mix.
Here they are…
XRP is a digital asset built on the Ripple Network. It was created by Ripple Labs in 2012, designed to provide a fast and secure way of sending and receiving money across borders. It is based on a decentralized ledger system, which allows for secure transactions without the need for intermediaries such as banks.
Ripple was the first crypto network to be included on the ISO 20022 standards board, leading the way for standardizing distributed ledger technology worldwide.
XRP’s compliance with ISO 20022 means that it can seamlessly integrate with other financial systems and networks, allowing for faster and more efficient transfers of funds. It also means that XRP transactions are standardized and can be easily tracked and audited, providing greater transparency and security for users.
XLM is built on the Stellar Network, which is also part of the ISO 20022 standards body.
XLM, or Stellar Lumens, is a decentralized blockchain network and digital currency designed to facilitate cross-border payments and exchanges. It was created in 2014 by Jed McCaleb, who was also a co-founder of Ripple.
Like XRP, XLM also complies with the ISO 20022 standard, which enables it to easily integrate with existing financial systems and networks. This compliance means that XLM transactions are standardized and can be easily tracked and audited, providing greater transparency and security for users.
The major differences between XRP and XLM have to do with their goals and target markets. While XRP primarily focuses on providing fast and efficient payments for financial institutions, XLM aims to provide financial services to individuals and underbanked populations in developing countries.
XDC (XinFin Digital Contract) is associated with the XinFin technology. It is a hybrid blockchain platform that is designed to bridge the gap between traditional finance and blockchain technology. It aims to provide a secure and efficient platform for trade and finance, with a particular focus on supporting cross-border transactions.
XDC has several features that make it well-suited for international trade and finance. Most important of these it its use of a consensus mechanism that combines both proof of stake and proof of work, which enables fast and efficient transaction processing while maintaining security and decentralization.
The IOTA network is a distributed ledger built for the Internet of Things (IoT), allowing humans and machines to interact economically to transfer data and value without friction. IOTA’s distributed network is called Tangle, which is a directed acyclic graph (DAG) that enables feeless and near-instant transactions.
Unlike traditional blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, IOTA does not use miners or blocks, and transactions are confirmed by other transactions in the network. This makes IOTA more scalable and energy-efficient compared to other cryptocurrencies.
IOTA’s main use case is for the machine-to-machine (M2M) economy, where devices and machines can transact with each other autonomously without the need for human intervention. It aims to provide a secure and scalable platform for IoT devices to communicate and transact with each other without relying on centralized intermediaries.
USDC (USD Coin) is a stablecoin that is pegged to the US dollar on a 1:1 ratio. It was launched in 2018 as a joint venture between Circle and Coinbase, and it operates on the Ethereum blockchain as an ERC-20 token.
USDC is designed to provide a stable and secure digital asset that can be used for transactions, trading, and other financial activities on blockchain networks. Its value is backed by reserves of US dollars held in bank accounts that are regularly audited by third-party firms to ensure transparency and compliance.
The Centre Consortium, which is the organization that oversees USDC, has been working to bring the token into compliance with ISO 20022.
Why ISO 20022 Compliance Matters for Crypto
ISO 20022 compliance is important for cryptocurrencies because it provides a standardized format for exchanging electronic data between financial institutions and systems. This means that cryptocurrencies that are ISO 20022 compliant can more easily integrate with traditional financial systems, which could increase their adoption and use in traditional finance.
Additionally, ISO 20022 compliance can help improve interoperability between different payment systems, which could increase the efficiency and speed of transactions involving cryptocurrencies.
Increased adoption and integration with traditional financial systems could potentially lead to increased demand for a cryptocurrency, which could drive up its value.