Blockchain

The private consortium led by R3, partnered by 42 of the world’s biggest banks is reportedly looking to raise up to $200 million from members in return for equity on a new product that will run blockchain-enabled solutions for the financial industry.

In a report by Financial News, New York-based private blockchain consortium R3 is supposedly seeking investment up to $200 million from its members. A source familiar with the plan tells the publication that discussions between R3 and its members, who are also its backers, are at an early stage.

The capital will be sought in exchange for equity stakes in an undisclosed new utility that is speculated to “run blockchain-powered applications for financial institutions.”

R3 is even proposing that backers hold a stake in the company and run it for 10 years, according to a publication source. However, any innovation that is borne out of R3’s development lab will not fall under the backers’ control. In other words, “any commercial product developed by R3 would not be owned by the utility and its backers,” the publication revealed.

Earlier this year, R3 revealed the first known banking blockchain experiment of its kind that spanned 11 banks globally across four continents. Each bank was connected to an R3-managed distributed ledger underpinned by Ethereum technology and hosted on a virtual private network (VPN) on Microsoft’s Azure, the public cloud platform.

Launched in September 2015, R3 began with nine major banks including the likes of JP Morgan, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Toward the end of October, R3’s ranks swelled to 25 global banks with new inductees such as Italy’s UniCredit and Japan’s Mizuho Bank.

November 2015 saw five more banks join to push the number to 30 banks before the tally stood at a total of 42 banks in December, when R3 announced the closure of its initial window for new bank members. That window was opened again recently in April, when Brazilian bank Itaú joined the consortium as the first Latin American bank to do so.

A representative for R3 could not be immediately reached for comment at the time of publishing.

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