This week Goldman Sachs, Banco Santander SA and Morgan Stanley announced that they’d be leaving the R3 bank consortium. It’s also rumoured that a number of other banks are rethinking their memberships. Although R3 are putting on a brave face, the churn of founding members of their consortium must be at the very least a little troubling.
Most of the reports (I’ve included a few below) seem to suggest that the ‘collective action’ problem that arose was a little too challenging to solve. With many banks come many perspectives on the how and which problems to solve — and banks have many (perspectives and problems). When you add in legacy systems and the associated issues these bring with them it’s unsurprising the ‘equilibrium’ has become unstable.
It’ll be interesting to see what the banks who defected end up doing. Although some will work with other solution providers (as has been mentioned in the articles) it’s also likely some will put their blockchain ambitions on hold as they refocus their fintech efforts.
I’ll leave the last word on this to Balaji Srinivasan of 21.co who had a great tweet storm on this topic earlier in the year — you can find it HERE.