|Headquarters||London, England, UK|
|Key People||David Rutter, Founder and CEO; Jesse Edwards, Co-founder, former CFO;
Todd McDonald, Co-founder, COO
|Products||Corda, a distributed ledger technology|
R3 is a financial firm that leads a consortium partnership consisting of over 100 of the world's leading financial institutions to design and deliver distributed ledger technologies to the global financial markets. It was founded in 2014 by nine banks including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and others with the goal of applying blockchain technology to commercial markets.
R3 had initially planned to raise $200 million from members and give them a 90 percent stake in a new company. But in November of 2016, it lowered the target and said members would get a 60 percent stake in R3.
At this time, R3 was hit by several big departures from the consortium, beginning with Goldman Sachs, followed by Santander and JPMorgan. R3 responded by adding ABN AMRO, Fifth Third Bank, insurance provider Suncorp Group and financial services company Synchrony Financial to the group.
R3 has faced controversy in the past regarding its use of the word "blockchain." The company had originally marketed itself as a "blockchain startup," when in fact this was a misnomer; the technology they were developing was not actually a blockchain, though it was a distributed ledger. In early 2017 they changed the language on their company website to correct this mistake.
In April of 2017 Calypso Technology teamed up with R3 to provide five financial institutions with trade matching services. The service integrates Calypso’s cloud application and R3’s Corda platform to carry out real-time trade matching tests across four time zones.
In August 2019, R3 hired Bryan D'Souza, who formerly worked at Societe Generale as an electronic trading expert. D'Souza joined the company as a partner manager at R3 Europe.
Legal battle with Ripple
In June 2017, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse attempted to terminate a contract Ripple had made with R3 via email to R3's chief executive David Rutter. The agreement gave R3 the right to purchase up to 5 billion XRP digital tokens at $0.0085 until September 2019. R3 responded by filing a lawsuit against Ripple, which then filed its own lawsuit against R3, claiming R3 had violated the contract by failing to help Ripple promote its technology. Ripple's attempts to keep the lawsuit in San Francisco courts were denied. R3 appealed to courts in Delaware and Manhattan, New York; the case was thrown out in Delaware.
In December 2018 R3 launched Corda Settler, a software application designed to facilitate global cryptocurrency -based payments on enterprise blockchains. Despite the company's previous legal battles with Ripple, Corda Settler launched supporting XRP as its primary cryptocurrency.
SWIFT integrates with R3
Gottfried Leibbrandt, the CEO of the global banking payments network SWIFT announced in January 2019 that SWIFT GPI (SWIFT's software platform) would be integrating with R3. Leibbrandt made the announcement on the main stage at the Paris Fintech Forum. In a later announcement, SWIFT said that it was in the process of connecting SWIFT's GPI Link gateway with Corda and testing its ability to monitor payment flows, as well as testing Corda's ability to support existing application programming interfaces (APIs), organizational architecture, and other technical features of SWIFT. David Rutter said that it was a "logical extension" to integrate R3's Corda with SWIFT GPI, which he called "the new standard to settle payments right across the world." He said that SWIFT GPI will benefit from the blockchain applications running on Corda.
Jesse Edwards leaves R3
In March 2019, R3 co-founder Jesse Edwards left the company. Before his departure, he had been working on a "side fund" for R3 called "Adroc" (Corda spelled backwards) targeted for between $50-60 million, which would have been used to support new tech companies building products on top of the Corda platform. Though R3 and Edwards both said that Edwards had been considering launching his own independent venture capital firm to drive Corda adoption globally, Edwards' exodus from the company allegedly had more to do with differences of vision over how to encourage investment for tech startups building software on top of the Corda platform. The firm said that it had decided to opt for what it calls an "internal corporate development function" to support new companies on the Corda platform, rather than utilizing funds from Adroc. R3 said in a statement that the decision was made mutually between the firm and Edwards, and that he remained "an investor in and a close friend of the firm."
Brazilian Financial Projects
Brazilian banks Bradesco and Itau announced in June 2019 that they were working with R3 on building an infrastructure blockchain for foreign trade and insurance. It was also revealed at the time that the Brazilian stock exchange B3 was already using Corda for digital identification.
In June 2019, R3 announced that it had integrated Digital Asset's Digital Asset Markup Language (DAML) with Corda, as well as Hyperledger's Sawtooth and Amazon's database service, AWS Aurora. This was done to streamline workflows around some of the world's more widely-used ledgers, according to Digital Asset CEO Yuval Rooz.
GoldGram Pte. Ltd.
In July 2019, R3 announced that it had begun a partnership with GoldGram Pte. Ltd., creator of the GoldGramCoin (GGC), a gold-backed stablecoin. According to the announcement, the token will go up for sale on R3's Corda platform, and would be redeemable for physical 99.99% pure gold "at any time," according to a press release.
On August 1, 2019, Rutter released a statment that R3 would expand its worldwide staffing from 215 to 300, double its office space in London and add 40 new engineers to the London office. Regarding the post-Brexit risks that London was facing, Rutter said: “There is enormous opportunity for London post-Brexit. While there clearly remain some uncertainties, we believe the city is well-placed and established to thrive in the coming years. That’s why we are confident in making this substantial long-term commitment now." Later that month, R3 announced that it would be opening a new office in Dublin as part of its "aggressive hiring plan."
Products and Services
R3 developed Corda, an open-source distributed ledger project designed to build an inter-operable network of distinct blockchain networks that are able to transact between each other privately. In March 2019, SIX Group announced that it was using Corda to build SGX, its own distributed ledger platform (not to be confused with Singapore Exchange Limited).
- David Rutter - Co-founder and CEO
- Jesse Edwards - Co-founder, former CFO
- Todd McDonald - Co-founder, COO
- Bank-backed R3 launches new version of its blockchain. Reuters.
- Nine of world's biggest banks join to form blockchain partnership. Reuters.
- JPMorgan Chase & Co leaves blockchain consortium R3. Reuters.
- Bank-backed R3 launches new version of its blockchain. Fortune.
- JPMorgan Chase & Co leaves blockchain consortium R3. Reuters.
- R3 still expanding despite big exits. Global Custodian.
- We Don’t Need Blockchain: R3 Consortium After $59 Million Research. Cointelegraph.
- Calypso, R3 and five financial institutions develop trade matching application on Corda DLT platform. PR Newswire.
- R3 hires Societe Generale electronic trading connectivity associate for senior role. The Trade.
- U.S. blockchain startups R3 and Ripple in legal battle. Reuters.
- Ripple Loses Bid to Keep Its Cryptocurrency Fight in California. Bloomberg.
- R3’s New Corda App Supports Payments in XRP Cryptocurrency. Coindesk.
- SWIFT Chief Announces Trial DLT Integration With R3. Coindesk.
- SWIFT to bring benefits of gpi to DLT and trade ecosystems. SWIFT.
- Blockchain-for-Banks Startup Switches From Hyperledger to R3’s Corda. Coindesk.
- R3 Co-Founder Jesse Edwards Is Leaving the Enterprise Blockchain Firm. Coindesk.
- Brazil: R3 Develops Blockchain Platform With Major Banks and Stock Exchange. CoinTelegraph.
- Digital Asset Integrates With Amazon, Hyperledger Fabric And R3 Corda. Forbes.
- GoldGram to Deploy a Native GGC Token on R3's Blockchain Platform Corda. PRNewswire.
- R3 Doubles Down on London as Post Brexit Technology Hub. Mondo Visione.
- R3 to launch new office in Dublin following expansion plans. The Trade.
- Blockchain for business. Corda.
- Swiss Stock Exchange SIX Will Tokenize Equity on R3’s Corda Blockchain. Coindesk.