An initiative to create a set of global standards for the use of distributed ledger technology in financial markets has picked up momentum, with another 13 major banks - including BofA, Deutsche Bank and HSBC - throwing their weight behind the plan.
Two weeks ago nine firms - Barclays, BBVA, CBA, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, State Street, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS - paired up with financial innovation startup company R3 to collaborate on research, experimentation, design, and engineering to help advance state-of-the-art enterprise-scale shared ledger technology.
Now Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Citi, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, National Australia Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, SEB, Societe Generale and Toronto-Dominion Bank have entered the fray.
The R3 team, led by former Icap electronic broking chief David Rutter, is made up of financial industry veterans, technologists, and new tech entrepreneurs, bringing together expertise from electronic financial markets, cryptography and digital currencies. Among the recruits are IBM's blockchain head Richard Brown.
The partners will now set up joint working groups, using a collaborative lab environment to test and validate distributed ledger prototypes and protocols as they seek to meet banking requirements for security, reliability, performance, scalability, and audit.
Niall Cameron, head, markets, Emea, HSBC, says: "Innovative, open-source developments like distributed ledger technology require expertise to deliver but have huge potential, offering banks and their clients the prospect of enhanced security, lower costs and improved error reduction."