JPMorgan has become the latest sell-side institution to withdraw from the R3 blockchain consortium, following the exits of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Santander in November last year.
Reuters reports that JPMorgan has withdrawn from the consortium led by New-York based R3 CEV, which is currently in the process of a fundraising drive to raise $150 million from its members and strategic investors in return for a 60 percent stake in the business.
In November last year, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Santander all left the consortium, as banks seek to streamline the number of blockchain-based ventures they are involved in as interest in the technology cools.
Charley Cooper, a managing director at R3, told Reuters: “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.”
The popularity of blockchain or distributed-ledger technology (DLT) vehicles, such as consortiums like R3, exploded last year as vendors and institutions sought to gain an advantage over their peers through various development efforts. However, as progress has slowed, banks have become more reluctant to continue such hefty investments without seeing tangible results, as most projects are still confined to tests.
While there appears to be no danger of blockchain-related projects dying out any time soon, unless concrete advancement can be demonstrated, it is likely more banking institutions will focus their attention elsewhere, particularly as they must contend with regulations such as Mifid II and FRTB (Fundamental Review of the Trading Book).
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