The idyllic paradise known as the R3 blockchain consortium is going through a very rough patch right now. Not one, but two of its most prominent members have turned their back on the project. This news comes as quite a surprise, considering the consortium is planning to open source their Corda solution in a few weeks. But both Goldman Sachs and Santander have had enough of this venture and pulled out immediately.
Trouble In Paradise For The R3 Consortium
Most people know the R3 blockchain consortium as a collaboration between the world’s largest banks. As distributed ledger technology gains more traction, no one wants to be left out in the innovation race. All of these partners have joined forces to create industry-wide standards and solutions. The upcoming release of Corda is the first project developed by this group of enthusiasts and developers.
But now and then, there will be disputes among members who no longer see eye-to-eye with the rest of the consortium. For both Goldman Sachs and Santander, that time has come, as they both exited the consortium last night. Goldman Sachs is one of the founding members of R3, which makes their departure even more strange. Santander has been a member since December of 2015.
For the time being, no one’s entirely sure why both major banks left the consortium. Speculation is running wild, but the important matter is that neither bank will halt its venture into the world of blockchain technology. After all, they are perfectly capable of developing blockchain solutions without being part of a consortium.
Speaking of speculation, rumor has it other partners of the consortium may have left – or are planning to leave – as well. No names were made public at this time, and this is nothing more than an unconfirmed possibility right now. Considering how R3 has added several new members throughout 2016, that would come as quite a surprise. Then again, so does the departure of both GS and Santander.
It appears the R3 consortium is changing the business nature of the original agreement between all members. There is a lesser demand for funding all of a sudden, although they still seek to raise US$150m, down from US$200m. Moreover, structural changes are underway, which have some consortium members concerned. A collaborative effort should be conducted when all players are on even footing, rather than consolidate power among a few elite participants.
Venturing into the world of blockchain technology is not an easy feat by any means. Even a collaboration between the world’s biggest banks cannot create solutions out of thin air, regardless of how much money they can “throw at a wall to see what sticks”. These departures do not bode well for the future of R3, but will not cause the end of the initiative either.
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