Payset prespective
August 2, 2022

Developers Are Working on a Blockchain-Based SWIFT Substitute

Researchers at a major Russian university are developing a blockchain-based alternative to the cross-border banking network SWIFT.

As sanctions are imposed on Russia, alternatives to the global banking network SWIFT could gain popularity. 

Domestic SWIFT Competitor Uses Blockchain

A project called Domestic SWIFT is currently under development at the Competence Center of the National Technology Initiative at St. Petersburg University in Russia.

According to a statement from researchers, the project consists of a “decentralized interbank financial messaging system.” Those researchers also say that a pilot version of the system is “ready for testing and can be used in banks.”

Though Domestic SWIFT does not use a traditional blockchain, its approach will offer similar benefits. Perhaps most importantly, because it relies on a distributed ledger and network, members cannot be restricted or forcibly disconnected, and they all have the same access rights.


The system also promises a high throughput rate. Test results show that Domestic SWIFT can handle 25,000 messages per second on a single node. Developers say that further scaling is possible.

Russia’s Tense Relationship With SWIFT

Domestic SWIFT is one of many SWIFT alternatives in the Russian market. The Bank of Russia has used a non-blockchain alternative called the System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS) since 2014. SPFS is used by Russian banks and at least 52 foreign organizations.

Other competitors also appear to be under development. In June, a Russian state-owned technology developer called Novosibirsk Institute of Software Systems (NIPS) announced that it was developing a blockchain platform called CELLS to complement SWIFT.

Earlier this year, SWIFT blocked seven Russian banks from its network in opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. If such sanctions continue to be imposed, SWIFT alternatives could become indispensable in Russia.

SWIFT is one of the world’s largest bank messaging and settlement networks, handling about half of all cross-border transactions. Over 300 Russian banks use the service, meaning that banks excluded from the system will need to find a replacement if the war continues.

Though SWIFT is popular for bank transactions, it is not the only way to make cross-border payments. Payset offers numerous alternatives, including international IBANs, multi-currency accounts, payment cards, and foreign currency exchange.

Contact us for more information or to sign up for an account.

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Frequently asked questions

What is a multi-currency account/virtual IBAN?

A Payset multi-currency account allows you to receive money in 34 different currencies and send money in up to 38 currencies, all within the same account.

You can deposit and withdraw funds, convert currencies at competitive exchange rates, and hold your chosen currencies to capitalize on market movements.

A Payset multi-currency account allows startups and business owners to receive payments from clients virtually anywhere in the world and pay suppliers, staff, and contractors quickly and affordably in their chosen currency.

  • Funds can be deposited and withdrawn from the account for a small fee.
  • Account holders can send and receive money with other Payset users for free.
  • Depending on your region, you can use various payment networks from your Payset account, including SWIFT, SEPA, ACH, Fedwire, Faster Payments, BACS, and CHAPS. 
  • Once you register an account, you will be provided with a Virtual IBAN (International Bank Account Number), which makes all of these transfers easy.
  • We provide you with local payments and collections. For example, transactions in USD, EUR, CAD, and GBP are processed through the local payment networks, which is far cheaper and takes minutes as opposed to days

Are there limits on the amount of money I can send and receive?

No, there are no transaction limits on Payset multi-currency accounts.

However, higher-volume transactions may require additional anti-fraud verification. If you plan to make a large transaction, contact us in advance to avoid verification delays.

How is Payset regulated?

Payset is regulated as an authorized Electronic Money Institution by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Our activities are also regulated by the Payment Services Regulation 2017 and the Electronic Money Regulation 2011 (SI 2011/99).

How do I send money from my account?

Once you have opened your verified IBAN account and added money to a balance, transferring funds is simple.

Simply log in into your account and add a beneficiary, then simply “make a transfer” in your preferred currency to that beneficiary.

Information contained in this publication is provided for general education and information purposes only and should not be construed as legal, tax, investment or other professional advice or recommendation, or an offer of, or solicitation for, any transactions or any other actions (or refraining therefrom); This material has been prepared without taking into account any particular recipient’s financial objectives or situation. We make no warranty, guarantee or representation, whether express or implied, as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or fitness thereof for a particular purpose; Use of images and symbols is made for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or advice to take or refraining from any action; Use of brand logos does not necessarily imply a contractual relationship between us and the entities owning the logos, nor does it represent an endorsement of any such entity by Pay Set Limited, or vice versa; Market information is made available to you only as a service, and we do not endorse or approve it; Any reference to past performance, predicted returns, or likelihood performance scenarios may not reflect actual future performance and certainly do not guarantee future outcomes.

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