Why crypto will replace SWIFT

Ed Ludbrook - Future of Crypto
4 min readFeb 27, 2022


Most people will not have heard of the SWIFT banking system until the Ukrainian War as NATO and its allies crow how they are going to kick Russian banks out to punish them. This action will guarantee that SWIFT itself is doomed and will most likely be replaced by a crypto-based solution. Ripple must be laughing…

The Situation

One of the most important financial international systems is SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. The system that helps banks to send money to each other.

SWIFT acts as a carrier of the “messages containing the payment instructions between financial institutions involved in a transaction”. As of 2018, around half of all high-value cross-border payments worldwide used the SWIFT network, and linked more than 11,000 financial institutions in over 200 countries and territories, who were exchanging an average of over 32 million messages per day (compared to an average of 2.4 million daily messages in 1995).

Approx. half of all major inter-bank transfers are organised around SWIFT so the ban on Russian banks is serious, especially for their customers.

SWIFT is doomed

For a start, designed in the analogue 1970s in a world dominated by the USA and Europe, even before this war, SWIFT was considered very inefficient for the new global digital world. And the options presented by SWIFT to upgrade their systems were also laughable in a digital world.

Most importantly, SWIFT, as shown by the EU and USA’s ability to cut Russia’s banks off, is controlled by the politicians of the ‘old’ Western countries. This must be unacceptable to ‘OTHER’ countries in former USSR, Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Asia and, especially China. In other words, most countries in the world, must worry about the USA and EU’s control.

In todays world, the ‘OTHER’ countries now have a lot of power. They control 50% of global trade and 90% of future economic growth. If there is 150 countries in the crowd, the only ones who matter are Russia, China and India. And now Russia is angry and China must have decided to replace this system.

Crypto tech provides the solution

Crypto-technology allows for trustless financial transfers globally instantly. Why use a slow old SWIFT banking system where they crow about 30minute messages when it should be instant? PS ‘trustless’ means you do not need to trust anyone or thing to trust the transaction is good.

Leading crypto-company Ripple is using this technology to replace SWIFT. This is not the financial use of its XRP coin which is why many think XRP is valueless. Also the problem with Ripple is that it is like replacing a horse & buggy with a better horse & buggy which includes a motor, rather than just having a motor powered car!

For a start, crypto-tech will kill the cross-border transaction business of banks. Why use that old expensive slow bank-controlled system when you can send crypto-based money instantly globally and cheaply person-person? Its not here yet as the system needs easy ways to change from fiat-crypto-fiat yet its only a few years away.

Next, these new international crypto systems will also make exchange rates irrelevant as they will be able to electronically convert Euros into crypto into Pesos, instantly cheaply.

Next, organisations can tokenised fiat currency to create a stablecoin that is the same as the money to the user, if they trust the creator of the stablecoin. Now money can be sent like crypto. No banks required.

Add to this government crypto-currencies called CBDCs. Money is controlled by the government not banks. Money can be sent from a person or company’s wallet to any wallet instantly, globally, cheaply. No banks required.

Lastly and most importantly, banks can now send either CBDC or stablecoins to each other without SWIFT. Instantly, globally, cheaply.

Remember, there is a banking control system as well. Big American and European clearing banks on top jealously protecting their control of the dollar, euro and pound. Forcing all the other thousands of banks in the world to play by their rules. SWIFT, correspondent banks, banking rails, VISA, Mastercard, etc.

With new crypto-tech, the 99.9% of the world’s financial organisations do not need them anymore. They dont need SWIFT.

Revolution is coming

Russia and China must now be motivated to use this new crypto-technology to destroy Western control of financial systems.

They don’t have to fight them. They just have to implement and/or support an alternative crypto-based system that does not use Western banks or their systems.

They simply demand that all inter-bank systems involving their and their allies, use that system with them. It will be global, faster, cheaper.

A point to note is that China controls Asia, probably Africa now. Russia has ex-USSR and Middle East. And the world is also sick and tired of Western big banks.

Obviously, the Western big banks and their governments will declare a banking war to slow this change down yet, like EMI fighting the internet, they will fail faster than they imagine.

SWIFT will be a casualty of this technical digital evolution. So will the clearing system, banking rails and many other ‘analogue’ banking systems.

The winners will be the people and companies. The winners will be the 99% of smaller financial institutions.

The winners will be the ‘OTHER’ countries. Not just Russia and China. The other 150 countries in the world outside of USA, EU and friends.

This is not a ‘crypto’ system in the way many would think of some investment opportunity. It will eliminate companies like Ripple. This is a new financial infrastructure using crypto/blockchain as a technology to transfer more effectively. It may sound boring yet the impact on the world and your future will be as transformational as the Internet was.



Ed Ludbrook - Future of Crypto

I am Financial Futurist, Educator & Entrepreneur. Multi-million selling author in 20 languages. The Future of Crypto book coming.