Goldman Sachs has decided to drop out of the R3 CEV blockchain group, letting its membership lapse as of Oct. 31, reported The Wall Street Journal.
According to the report, a Goldman Sachs spokeswoman confirmed the membership lapse but that Goldman Sachs plans to continue to work with blockchain technology. Goldman Sachs was one of the nine original members of R3, which was created back in 2014 to explore ways to use blockchain technology with Wall Street. Blockchain is the technology behind bitcoin, the popular alternative digital currency.
Although Goldman Sachs was part of R3, it’s not the only game in town with Wall Street banks backing different blockchain ventures. Banks are eyeing blockchain technology to make transactions faster, lower the cost of operators and secure its infrastructure. An R3 spokesman told WSJ that turnover in the group is to be expected. “Developing technology like this requires dedication and significant resources, and our diverse pool of members all have different capacities and capabilities, which naturally change over time,” the spokesman said in an email to WSJ.
In addition to advancing blockchain technology, R3 is looking for equity investments from members in exchange for a piece of the proceeds from any technology or products that come out of the development of blockchain technology. Other members of R3 include Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and State Street.
For Goldman, its push with blockchain is coming via investing and developing capabilities internally. Goldman was one of the two leading investors in a $50 million round of funding for Circle Internet Financial, which is a bitcoin startup, noted WSJ. Goldman Sachs is also aiming to get patents on two blockchain inventions, with one for foreign exchange trading and the other focused on digital currency, according to WSJ.