R3, a blockchain technology company that current leads a consortium of seventy financial groups, has lost one of its founding members, Goldman Sachs, after the lender unveiled plans to pursue independent blockchain efforts, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The R3 consortium focuses on blockchain usage in the global financial system – more specifically a panel of more than seventy institutions engage in joint research and development opportunities, helping push the technology into new avenues of finance. Goldman Sachs was one of the initial nine founding members of the consortium that was founded approximately two years ago.
Since then, the consortium has made significant strides worldwide, including research partnerships in Asia and elsewhere. Despite being a founding member, Goldman Sachs let its membership lapse at the end of October 2016. The move heralds the loss of more than a singular member but rather a paramount force in the banking industry.
For its part, a schism with the consortium does not mean an end of blockchain research for Goldman Sachs. Rather, the lender will be doubling its efforts to focus its blockchain research capabilities on internal development and investments in specialists. This includes multi-million dollar investments on two startups, Circle and Digital asset Holdings.
According to a recent R3 statement regarding Goldman’s divergence and lapse in membership: “As with any project of this scale and scope, we always expected the make-up of the consortium to change over time. Developing technology like this requires dedication and significant resources, and our diverse pool of members all have different capacities and capabilities which naturally change over time.”