Goldman Sachs leaves R3 blockchain consortium
Goldman Sachs has dropped out of the R3 blockchain consortium, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The bank was one of nine original members of R3, but let its membership lapse. A spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs told the Wall Street Journal that it will continue to work with blockchain. No other details were forthcoming.
As Banking Technology reported last month, more than 60 financial institutions around the world (including many top-tier banks) are involved in the R3 consortium, with considerable financial and resource commitments. The international consortium promises to build a common blockchain-based platform – called Corda – but the end-result is still a number of years away.
This use of resources could have played a part in Goldman Sachs’ decision. The bank also recently filed a new patent application to use blockchain on the foreign exchange (FX) market.
In response, R3 says turnover is expected, and a spokesman adds: “Developing technology like this requires dedication and significant resources, and our diverse pool of members all have different capacities and capabilities which naturally change over time.”
Dreams never end
While Goldman Sachs’s departure is a setback for R3, it has been busy this year.
According to Reuters, the consortium is looking to raise $150 million in its first large round of equity funding, instead of the initially planned $200 million. It also plans to give its bank members a 60% equity stake in its blockchain business in exchange for the funding, a source who is “familiar with the plans” told Reuters.
In another development, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is partnering with R3, and a consortium of financial institutions on a proof-of-concept project to conduct inter-bank payments using blockchain.
R3 and ten of its member banks developed a proof-of-concept (PoC) for a know your customer (KYC) registry “that addresses the challenges associated with satisfying KYC requirements and allows identities to be managed by their owners”.
It also made its blockchain platform’s code publicly available as it seeks to make it an industry standard.