R3 Fires Shot Across Ripple's Cross-Border Payment Blockchain Bow

R3 is building a cross-border payments solution inspired by blockchain, according to news from The American Banker. The company will be partnering with 22 member banks on the project, including U.S. Bank, TD Bank, Barclays, BBVA, CIBC, Commerzbank, DNB, HSBC, Intesa, KBC, KB Kookmin Bank, KEB Hana Bank, Natixis, Shinhan Bank and Woori Bank.

Currently, R3 is involved in a legal dispute with former collaborator Ripple. In 2016, R3 claimed that it entered an agreement with Ripple that left the company with the option to purchase 5 billion of Ripple’s proprietary cryptocurrency for $0.0085 by Sep. 2019. The cryptocurrency is now trading at $0.20, which means the options are worth more than $1 billion, and Ripple no longer wants R3 to exercise the option.

Ripple countersued R3 in September 2017, with the suit claiming R3 didn’t meet its end of the bargain. A Delaware court dismissed R3’s suit on Oct. 13, citing jurisdictional issues.

Charley Cooper, managing director at R3, wouldn’t comment on the legal dispute. The director did say, however, that its international commerce project had been in development for some time, and that it was distinct from any other distributed ledger.

“This wasn’t spawned by one particular company,” Cooper said, according to American Banker. “It’s something we’ve been working on that predates a lot of other work in the industry by various different parties.”

The blockchain was developed at the beginning of last year, according to Adam Furgal, head of Incubator & Accelerator at R3.

“The key difference between R3’s international payments technology and other blockchain-style international payment technologies, including those from Ripple, IBM and Swift, is that R3 is not using digital currency,” said Cooper.



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