Blockchain

JPMC Bails On Blockchain Consortium R3

R3 — the big blockchain consortium led by startup R3 CEV — has lost the backing of another big banking name: JP Morgan Chase & Co.

R3 is currently looking for $150 million from its members and strategic investors in return for a 60 percent stake in the firm. R3 currently has about 80 financial institutions as its membership base.

“JPMorgan parted ways with R3 to pursue a very distinct technology path which is at odds with the one chosen by the global financial services industry, represented by our 80-plus members,” said Charley Cooper, a managing director at R3.

JPMC had no comment.

It is not alone in making like Fleetwood Mac and going its own way.  Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Banco Santander, Morgan Stanley and National Australian Bank left the group in quick succession late last year as R3 began to move forward with its fundraising move.

JPMC has not, however, totally turned its back on the blockchain.

The bank is a member of the newly formed blockchain consortium Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, and it is an investor in blockchain startups Axoni and Digital Asset Holdings. It is also a participant in the Hyperledger project.

R3 exists to help big financial sector firms develop shared blockchain technology to run some of their most cumbersome and expensive processes. The firm  had initially planned to raise $200 million from members and give them a 90 percent stake in a new company.  That plan was changed in November — it lowered the target and said members would get a 60 percent stake in R3.

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