Blockchain Startup Gains Backing from 13 Big Banks
Blockchain technology associated with Bitcoin has caught the eye of bankers, but now comes the hard part: figuring out where it can be used international payments, treasury services or elsewhere without wasting a lot of time and money in experimentation.
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While financial institutions are apt to remain wary of the cryptocurrency and others like it, the industry is ready for more-controllable versions of its distributed-ledger technology, a new report argues.
Thirteen banks have joined an alliance to develop commercial applications of distributed ledger technology in the financial industry.
The banks will partner with blockchain startup R3CEV. The latest institutions to join its 22-member consortium are Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Citigroup, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, National Australia Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, SEB, Société Générale and Toronto-Dominion Bank.
The group is developing a settlement platform for the billions of dollars in transactions processed by the financial industry each year. Participating members plan to collaborate to experiment with distributed ledger technology and establish standards and protocols for its application, with the goal of facilitating wider adoption of the blockchain.
"We have placed an emphasis on working with the market from day one," R3 CEO David Rutter said in a Tuesday press release. "Our partners recognize that a collaborative model is the best way to quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively deliver these new technologies to global financial markets."
Nine other banks joined R3's initiative earlier this month, including Barclays, BBVA, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland, State Street and UBS.