JP Morgan exits R3 blockchain group

JP Morgan has followed fellow founding member Goldman Sachs in departing the R3 blockchain initiative.

JP Morgan has become the latest participant to withdraw from blockchain consortium R3.

Charley Cooper, a managing director at R3, confirmed the departure of one of the group’s founding members.

"JP Morgan parted ways with R3 to pursue a very distinct technology path which is at odds with the one chosen by the global financial services industry, represented by our 80-plus members," said Cooper.

JP Morgan declined to comment.

R3 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.

The group was hit by a number of high profile departures at the end of 2016 starting with the exit of founding member Goldman Sachs.

It is thought Goldman Sachs did not renew its membership as R3’s intentions no longer aligned with the bank’s technology strategy.

Santander also confirmed its departure the following day while reports suggested Morgan Stanley also left the group.

R3 responded to these departures by adding Dutch bank ABN AMRO, Cincinnati based Fifth Third Bank, insurance provider Suncorp Group and financial services company Synchrony Financial to the group.

In March, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation became the first US state-level regulator to join.

Speaking following the initial exodus, Nick Weisfeld, data practice head and blockchain specialist at GFT, put the departures down to the commercials of the business model rather than issues with blockchain technology.