Former itBit client group director Antony Lewis has officially joined banking consortium R3.

Announced today, the move will find Lewis taking the reins as director of the startup’s lab and research center in Singapore. Lewis left itBit (now Paxos) in mid-2015 and has since served in consulting roles focused on blockchain, including a stint with ‘Big Four’ accounting firm Ernst & Young.

Notably, the move comes amid a larger bid by R3 to bolster its presence in Asia amid an uptick in interest from enterprise firms.

In recent months, R3 has seen Asia-based firms including Ping An and life insurance firm AIA announce they had joined as paying members.

The development further coincides with an increase in China-based distributed ledger working groups. ChinaLedger, a regional-specific blockchain consortium, launched in May, while similar efforts have sprung up in major cities including Shanghai and Shenzhen.

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