Goldman Sachs, one of the earliest members of the R3 blockchain consortium has reportedly chosen not to renew its membership with the working group.
In a report by the Wall Street Journal, investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has elected to let its R3 membership lapse and stopped being a member effectively as of October 31.
The exit is notable following a steady influx of members that includes banks, insurance giants and technology firms that have – over the past year – added to R3’s member banks. Still, a spokesperson for R3 played down the significance of the exit, stating that member departures are to be expected.
Speaking to the Journal, the spokesman said:
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.
Goldman Sachs’ exit comes in the days following R3’s announcement that it’s blockchain software Corda, developed over time among its members and the startup, is to go open-source.
Throwing a hint for a possible reason behind the separation, the WSJ report also reveals R3’s efforts to seek equity investment from its members, in return for a stake from proceeds of future implementations of its blockchain solutions.
Despite its exit, Goldman Sachs continues to be heavily involved in blockchain development and research. Further, its involvement in other blockchain initiatives and projects could simply mean an increased focus on its own blockchain-based objectives specific to its core processes. The bank is a notable investor in possible R3 competitor Digital Asset and has filed multiple payments for its own cryptocurrency and a blockchain solution for foreign exchange trading.
In early 2015, the bank was the lead investor in a $50 million funding round in bitcoin startup Circle. Furthermore, a research note sent to its clients had one Goldman Sachs analyst stating “the blockchain, can change…well everything.”
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