The blockchain consortium R3CEV LLC has added 12 more banks, taking the total to 42. The group of blockchain advocates is also a part of The Open Ledger Project, being led by IBM which aims to create its own blockchain.
According to the official press release, the next round of engagement will commence in January 2016 and focus on non-bank financial institutions including post-trade organizations that settle transactions; clearing houses and exchanges are such organizations. The initiative is now aiming to extend reach to the broader financial services community.
The recently added banks are Danske Bank, Banco Santander, Intesa Sanpaolo, Nomura, Natixis, Northern Trust, OP Financial Group, Scotiabank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, US Bancorp, Westpac Banking Corporation and BMO Financial Group.
Charley Cooper, managing director of R3 said in a statement,
“We started with banks, but the intent was always to cast broadly in the financial services markets. The real power of blockchain technology grows exponentially when you add more users to the network.”
David Rutter, CEO of R3 commented: “Partnering with a broad range of institutions has always been central to our strategy of developing distributed ledger technologies that will truly benefit the financial services industry as a whole. Securing the backing of 42 of the world’s leading banks demonstrates the level of interest in our initiative, and we now look forward to exploring collaboration with non-bank institutions and expanding our already diverse group.”
Founded in September this year, the consortium will work towards developing commercial products and financial-grade distributed ledger solutions.
The reason why so many banks are rushing towards blockchain is because they fear the disruptive potential of the technology, which puts the capabilities of the existing infrastructure to shame. The banks do not want to be left behind in understanding this financial technology which poses a clear threat to their future profits.