Morgan Stanley Plans to Drop Out of R3 Blockchain Group _ Bitcoin bitcoin currency graph

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Morgan stanley does not plan to renew its membership in the R3 CEV LLC blockchain group or invest in a $150 million equity funding round meant to speed the technology’s development, a person familiar with the bank’s plans said.Bitcoin currency graph

It’s the latest major bank to retreat from R3, which is exploring the use of the blockchain distributed database technology in wall street infrastructure. The WSJ reported monday that goldman sachs group inc. Dropped out of R3 when it let its membership lapse and declined to invest equity. Banco santander SA also recently dropped out, reuters reported.

Bank of america corp., barclays PLC and UBS group AG, also early members of R3, said they are still part of the consortium, though they did not comment on whether they plan to take an equity stake. State street corp. Is “an active participant in discussions around the future of the R3 consortium. We are evaluating a variety of models,” a spokeswoman said. J.P. Morgan chase & co. And bank of new york mellon corp. Declined to comment.

R3 has approached 42 banking members about investing in an equity funding round that seeks to raise $150 million over the next 9 to 12 months, a person familiar with R3′s plans said.Bitcoin currency graph an ernst & young valuation during the summer placed R3’s worth at $150 million to $250 million, based in part on membership dues of $250,000 per year and expected revenues from commercial products, this person said. Companies may choose to buy an equity stake, renew memberships or walk away. Banks that choose not to participate in the funding round still may remain members of R3, helping develop blockchain technology and sharing research.

Financial institutions pushed R3 to raise money because they thought it would help the consortium meet its product development goals, the person said.

The prospect of investing further in R3 comes as banks stake their position in blockchain technology, which some say could make global banking faster, more efficient and more secure. Competing blockchain platforms have emerged.Bitcoin currency graph santander and goldman sachs have invested in digital asset holdings LLC, a startup that supports hyperledger, an open-source blockchain platform.

In april, R3 unveiled a distributed ledger called corda to manage financial contracts. It plans to open source the technology on nov. 30, the person said. At that time, anyone will be able to download the code and build on it as long as it is not used for commercial purposes. The consortium plans to deliver at least one commercial product by the end of 2017, the person said. R3 is working on products for regulatory reporting, trade finance, payments, syndicated loans and know-your-customer verifications, among other areas.

If R3 succeeds in raising $150 million, participating banks would take a 60% ownership stake in R3 while eight founding executives would retain 40%.Bitcoin currency graph if R3 doesn’t reach $150 million in a first round, it plans to open the circle to members of its lab and research center. After that, technology firms and other investors would be able to participate, the person said.

Blockchain technology, best known for underpinning the system that trades the virtual currency bitcoin, has garnered attention from banks that see opportunities to save billions of dollars and make old-fashioned processes more efficient.

R3, founded in 2014, has said turnover in the group is expected. “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.”

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