Distributed ledger startup R3CEV has added 13 new banking partners, bringing the total number of banks involved in its activities to 22.
In a release, R3 revealed Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Citi, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Morgan Stanley, National Australia Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, SEB, Societe Generale and Toronto-Dominion Bank had signed on to the project.
R3 CEO David Rutter suggested in statements that the startups approach to collaborating with the market to lower the cost of delivering new blockchain initiatives was a factor in the deal.
"The addition of this new group of banks demonstrates widespread support for innovative distributed ledger solutions across the global financial services community, and we're delighted to have them on board."
As previously noted, R3 will lead collaborations between its members on design, engineering, experimentation and research projects related to blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
With the news, the 13 banks join nine previously announced partners including Barclays, BBVA, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, State Street and UBS, which announced support in September.
Global Fabric for Finance
In a separate blog post, R3 director for market research Tim Swanson expanded on the vision for the startup and what it seeks to achieve with its new partners.
Cautioning that he did not speak for the firm, Swanson distanced R3 from bitcoin and cryptocurrency, suggesting that the startup is not working with banks to develop a digital currency and that it is not working with the bitcoin network.
"Bitcoin solves a set of problems for a niche group of individuals operating under certain security assumptions (eg, cypherpunks not wanting to interface with banks or governments). Regulated financial institutions do not operate under those assumptions, thus axiomatically bitcoin in its current form is highly unlikely to be a solution to their problems at this time," he wrote.
Rather, Swanson suggested that R3 was attempting to work with its bank partners to design a new blockchain ledger system tailored for the needs of the banking community and crafted with its input.
He went on to suggest such a network may not need a mining or distributed transaction processing community, but that any efforts would likely seek to be open sourced to the community.
"After all, a foundation layer this critical would benefit from the collective eyeballs of the entire programming community," he wrote.
The post concluded by noting that R3 is currently seeking to hire developers for its initiatives.
Image via R3