R3 is an innovation firm which, according to its own characteristics, is “empowering the next generation of global financial services technology”. Cointelegraph offers a glimpse into the world of tomorrow of leading consortiums in financial markets.
Richard G. Brown, a chief technology officer at R3, has explained in a blog post how blockchain technology can be used as a tool for solving problems, what the defining characteristics of a blockchain are, and what in particular makes them interesting for the banks.
R3’s main role - picking the raisins out of the buns for banks?
Banks cannot adopt blockchain technology in its current form. Someone must pick the raisins out of the buns for them, so to speak, and that is where R3 steps in.
As R3 told Cointelegraph, they are designing and engineering “solutions that meet banking requirements for identity, privacy, security, scalability, interoperability and integration with legacy systems”. R3 has been working on a completely new platform called Corda for managing and synchronizing financial agreements.
Corda’s main point is in picking the right consensus model for its users – anyone taking part in the deal can see exactly the same thing as the other one across the Internet but those not involved in the deal, naturally, cannot.
There are no third-party validators, no misinterpreting, and no time-wasting. Everyone has the same information and sees what the other does and it’s completely confidential.
No wonder banks across the world are thrilled.
Who is particularly interested in R3 and why?
According to R3, after a successful initial phase of engagement with the banks, the consortium has now entered into the second phase which includes both banks and non-banks. At this point, there are already over 50 members.
R3 believes that the power of a new technology comes from networking – and it seems to be true, as the project has been snowballing: the more members join R3 project, the more potential members are attracted to it. R3 provided the necessary kickstart and the meansof growth, but it now looks like the future has started building itself on its own.
One of the members of R3, the Spanish bank Santander, has calculated that it could save 20 billion USD by utilizing blockchain technology. How much could other banks save? What could this money be used for?
Cointelegraph examined some of the other members of R3, and found that it was banks specializing in wealth and asset management, along with investments, in particular, that were actively involved themselves.
What is there for non-banks?
The R3 trend is also growing amongst insurance companies, as, for instance, Hong Kong-based life insurance group AIA and China-based Ping An Insurance Group joined in.
Other non-bank members include management consultant firms. Maybe part of the billions saved by banks could be theirs one day?
For example, PwC has launched a new platform – DeNovo – which aims to help those involved with “blockchain-based technology”. Everybody gains!
Bent Dalager, Managing Director for financial services at Nordic of Accenture, also implies that a blockchain-based-technologies future is here already, and only Nordic countries are hesitating to join the party. Maybe they just don’t know any better yet?
However, these consultant firms seem very excited about this opportunity, as it means a whole new opening, a new concept, new clients and new areas to expand to.
What does the future of R3 look like?
R3 has already reached its position as the largest startup of its niche, and continues expanding. Banks and insurers can save billions of dollars and insure security of all their deals and transactions.
Management consultant firms study the principles of new fintech and gain new clients in new spheres. What about bank workers? Will new technology reduce the amount of work or will it create more vacancies due to potential expansions?
And last, but not least – how is this new, adapted blockchain-like technology going to affect Bitcoin and “traditional” blockchains? Is it possible that in the future both concepts could grow and benefit each other or will they perhaps merge?