R3 blockchain consortium loses another member, Santander
Santander is leaving the R3 blockchain consortium, according to Reuters. Santander joined R3 in December last year, alongside another 11 banks.
The bank is working on its own blockchain projects. Earlier this year, it piloted the distributed ledger technology for international payments through a mobile app. It said it was the first bank in the UK to do so.
Santander is also a founding member of an interbank group for global payments based on blockchain, created together with Ripple and a number of large banks, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), UniCredit, Standard Chartered, Westpac and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). The network is known as the Global Payments Steering Group (GPSG).
Santander’s exit from R3 comes hot on the heels of the same move by Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs is also working on its own blockchain project – in the FX space – and has filed a patent for the technology it has developed.
It is understood that the Santander and Goldman Sachs decisions to abandon R3 are completely independent from each other.
Meanwhile, R3 is looking to raise $150 million from its members in an upcoming major funding round. The initial figure was $200 million. Not all member banks are looking to take part in this, however. For instance, Morgan Stanley and National Australia Bank (NAB) are not participating, according to Reuters.
The funding will be raised in stages over the next year, it is understood. R3 intends to give its member banks 60% of the equity stake in the company in exchange for funding.