R3’s Blockchain Group Grows to 42 Banks

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Financial innovation company R3 has concluded its Blockchain bank membership round with the addition of 12 new banks, bringing the total number to 42.

Since its September launch, the company has seen a groundswell of interest in the consortium from financial services companies around the world. Having built a network that includes most of the world’s major global banks, and with the window for the admission of new bank members having closed under the consortium’s formative agreement, R3 will now focus efforts on broader engagement with a diverse range of institutions outside of the banking industry.

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As part of that initiative, R3 is considering options for participation in the consortium by various categories of non-bank institutions after the first of the year.

David Rutter, CEO of R3 comments:

“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.”

BMO Financial Group, Danske Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, Natixis, Nomura, Northern Trust, OP Financial Group, Banco Santander, Scotiabank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, U.S. Bancorp and Westpac Banking Corporation are the most recent banks to join the consortium tasked with designing and applying distributed ledger technologies to global financial markets.

“R3 has long believed that distributed ledger technology has the potential to impact the financial services sector the way the Internet changed media and entertainment,” added Rutter.

“Yes, that’s a big statement, but there is increasing evidence to support it. When you look across the industry, the possible applications of these innovative solutions cut across asset classes, geographies and market participants. Ultimately, these technologies will benefit not just financial services firms, but their clients and end-users as well. We’re very excited to be at the epicenter of this global evolution.”

Led by R3, the initiative is designing and developing commercial products and financial-grade distributed ledger solutions that incorporate various open source technologies and standards.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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