R3, a blockchain collaboration aimed at creating a set of standards for the use of distributed ledger technology, has received the backing of more major banks.

The number of banks behind the scheme has now reached 30, with the inclusion of newcomers BNP Paribas, CIBC, ING Bank, Macquarie Bank and Wells Fargo.

The blockchain initiative has built impressive momentum since it first began to receive backing in September. Following an initial nine banks putting their weight behind the start-up, 13 more joined later in the same month.

Experts and innovation

[contextly_sidebar id=”wTTqYANxu15QVkIXUsnuSKmuVRiRsQN2″]The R3 initiative has brought together a team of industry experts, it says, to create a lab environment in which the capabilities and protocols of blockchain technology can be tested.

Among those at R3 are former banking innovation guru at IBM, Richard Gendal Brown, ex-Barclays James Carlyle and former Google employee and bitcoin core developer Mike Hearn.

The firm has also enlisted the support of financial cryptographer Ian Grigg and bitcoin expert Tim Swanson.

CEO of R3, David Rutter, describes the initiative as ‘the best way to quickly, efficiently and cost effectively deliver [blockchain] to global financial markets’.

Mark Buitenhek, global head of transaction services at ING, one of the banks backing R3, says that the bank wants ‘to make the most of what blockchain has to offer our customers’.

Working with R3 and fellow banks, he adds, ‘will develop innovative banking solutions for our clients with consistent standards and protocols guaranteeing widespread adoption’.

Reader opinions

A majority of IBS readers, meanwhile, believe that blockchain will ‘change the way the industry works’. In an IBS survey, 60% of those asked responded to say that the technology would disrupt and change the landscape of the financial industry.

There were some sceptics, however: one respondent asked that if mobile phones, the internet and the banking crisis failed to revolutionise the industry – why would blockchain?

By Alex Hamilton

by IBS Intelligence
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