Goldman Sachs and Banco Santander, two of the large financial institutions in the R3 blockchain consortium, have withdrawn from the project within hours of each other, reports Reuters.
According to sources of the new agency, the New York-based fintech startup has changed the terms of the deal. R3 has reduced the size of investment from $200 million to $150 million in exchange of 60% equity stake in the project. Initially the offered stake was 90%.
Goldman Sachs and Banco Santander, both of which have been among the 42 original members who joined it in 2015, are not renewing their membership in the consortium, spokespeople told Reuters. According to the news agency, other two major financial institutions – Morgan Stanley and National Australia Bank are also to withdraw shortly.
Most of the other 70-ish members, among which are J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, BNP Pariba, Nordea, Danske Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Societe Generale, to name a few, have agreed to the new terms and will participate in the financing of the project.
According to Reuters, the funding will be raised in phases in the next nine to 12 months. If the $150 million target is not raised among the members, the round will be opened to other strategic investors like technology companies. The participating banks will also acquire a stake in the development lab, which tests new blockchain-based applications.
Recently R3 announced the launch of a research and development lab in Singapore – the R3 Asia Lab.
R3 is by far not the only consortium devoting its attention to the application of the distributed ledger technology into the financial services industry. There are also SBI Ripple Asia, which launched in the beginning of November and the Hyperledger Project.