Nine of the world’s biggest banks, including Goldman Sachs and Barclays, have joined forces with New York-based financial tech firm R3 to create a framework for using blockchain technology in the markets, the firm said on Tuesday.
It is the first time banks have come together to work on a shared way in which the technology that underpins bitcoin — a controversial, Web-based “cryptocurrency” — can be used in finance.
Over the past year, interest in blockchain technology has grown rapidly. It has already attracted significant investment from many major banks, which reckon it could save them money by making their operations faster, more efficient and more transparent.
The new project, the result of more than a year’s worth of consultations between R3, the banks and other members of the financial industry, will be led by R3 CEO David Rutter, formerly CEO of electronic trading at ICAP Electronic Trading, one of the world’s largest interdealer brokers.
“We held several roundtables … to deeply consider what the possible implications of the blockchain were, and what it could possibly do to save money and time, and to create a better paradigm for the world of Wall Street and finance,”
Rutter told Reuters on Tuesday.