Cryptocurrency intiative R3 blockchain group adds five more banking heavyweights

A tangible product of the blockchain. Credit:Flick/Antana

Five more banks have joined a global consortium working on ways blockchain technology can be used in financial markets, the firm leading the project said on Thursday, as it brought in experts from the worlds of banking and technology.

BNP Paribas, Wells Fargo, ING, MacQuarie and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce will join 25 other banks including JPMorgan and Citi in the initiative, led by New York-based financial tech firm R3.

Most of the world’s biggest banks, with the exception of Chinese lenders, have now signed up to the initiative. It represents the first time banks have collaborated on how the technology that underpins bitcoin, a controversial, web-based “cryptocurrency”, can be used in finance.

“The R3 collaborative model is the best way to quickly, efficiently and cost effectively deliver these new technologies to global financial markets,” said New York-based R3’s CEO David Rutter, formerly CEO of electronic trading at ICAP, one of the world’s largest interdealer brokers.

The blockchain works as a huge, decentralised ledger of every bitcoin transaction ever made, which is verified and shared by a global network of computers and therefore is virtually tamper-proof. The Bank of England has a team dedicated to it and calls it a “key technological innovation”.

R3’s chief technology officer is IBM’s former executive architect of banking innovation, Richard Gendal Brown, and on Thursday the firm announced it had brought in James Carlyle, who was previously Barclays‘ chief engineer for banking architecture.

R3 has also brought in bitcoin core developer Mike Hearn, as well as fincancial cryptographer Ian Grigg and bitcoin expert Tim Swanson.

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(Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.