Bank-backed blockchain collaboration outfit R3 has announced the completion of a distributed ledger experiment involving eleven of the world's largest financial institutions. R3 and consortium member banks Barclays, BMO Financial Group, Credit Suisse, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, HSBC, Natixis, Royal Bank of Scotland, TD Bank, UBS, UniCredit and Wells Fargo each connected on a private peer-to-peer distributed ledger, underpinned by Ethereum technology and hosted on a virtual private network in Microsoft Azure, the public cloud platform offering Blockchain as a Service (BaaS).
Participants were able to explore the technology’s potential to execute financial transactions instantaneously across the global private network. The banks simulated exchanging value, represented by tokenised assets on the distributed ledger without the need for a centralised third party.
Barclays Investment Bank CTO Brad Novak says:
“As we progress our evaluations of shared ledgers and smart contracts, we look forward to leveraging R3’s lab environment for collaborative technology experiments. Ethereum is a well-known open source technology in this space and we also look forward to collaborative experiments using other technologies.”
Since its September 2015 launch, R3 has seen a groundswell of interest in the consortium from financial services companies around the world, signing up 42 top tier banks to the initiative.
R3 CEO David Rutter says the collaborative experiment is the first in a series of projects which will aim to prove suitability of distributed ledgers across a number of different financial markets use cases.
“The transition from vision and hypothesis to application and execution signifies the next major step towards using this technology to transform how institutions interact, report and trade with each other in financial markets,” he says. “This is a very exciting development, both for R3 and our member banks, as well as the global financial services industry as a whole.”