Last month, several of the world’s largest financial institutions stole the spotlight for their decision to join startup group R3 in exploring and developing new technologies and uses for blockchain technology, the key to making the cryptocurrency bitcoin operate properly.
Barclays, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, RBS, UBS and several others backed R3’s initiative to get an early start on how financial institutions could leverage blockchain technology to enhance payments.
According to Financial Times last week, that initiative has seen a whole new slew of support as 13 more banks join the collaboration.
Those banks include Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citi, according to reports, and the additions signal the potential for blockchain technology to have mass implications for the global financial industry.
“The addition of this new group of banks demonstrates widespread support for innovative distributed ledger solutions across the global financial services community,” said R3 Chief Executive David Rutter in a statement.
He added that the more banks, the better.
“A collaborative model is the best way to quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively deliver these new technologies to global financial markets,” Rutter said.
Some industry experts say the blockchain could overhaul a legacy, outdated global banking system and lead to far faster payments. Many players also point to the potential of blockchain technology to streamline B2B payments in particular and solve the increasingly troubling issues in the space of cross-border friction and large payment volumes that are often unique to the B2B arena.
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In recent months, there have been several separate initiatives by financial institutions and innovators to launch their own projects to delve into the potential of the blockchain.
U.K.-based Innovate Finance is a similar initiative that will work with leading members of the financial services community to focus on blockchain potential. Technology conglomerate IBM has also begun exploring the tool, among other banks and tech firms.
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