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R3 (R3CEV LLC) is a distributed database technology company. It leads a consortium of more than 200 firms in research and development of distributed ledger usage in the financial system and other areas of commerce. It is headquartered in New York City. It was founded in 2014 by David E Rutter. The current CTO is Richard G Brown.
The consortium's joint efforts have created an open-source distributed ledger platform called Corda especially geared towards the financial world as it handles more complex transactions and restricts access to transaction data. It has also attracted interest from other industries including insurance, healthcare, energy and governments. Although it is inspired by blockchain databases, and is expected to have many of the benefits of blockchains, it is not a blockchain. The aim of Corda is to provide a platform with common services to ensure that any services built on top are compatible between the network participants, whilst still fostering innovation and faster time to market as the underlying infrastructure would be accepted and understood by at least the founding firms.
If we have one platform with lots of products on top, then we get something that's more like the internet, where we still get innovation but we can still communicate with each other. - David Rutter
Corda's code was open-sourced on November 30, 2016 here, and may in the future be contributed to the Hyperledger project. Hyperledger is a cross-industry project led by the non-profit Linux Foundation to advance blockchain technology by coming up with common standards.
The consortium started on September 15, 2015 with nine financial companies: Barclays, BBVA, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, State Street, and UBS.
On September 29, 2015 an additional 13 financial companies joined: Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Citi, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Morgan Stanley, National Australia Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, Société Générale, and Toronto-Dominion Bank. Financial Times reporter Kadhim Shubber wrote that the new additions are "a sign the industry is gathering behind R3 in one potential implementation of the distributed ledger technology behind the cryptocurrency bitcoin."
On December 17, 2015, an additional 12 financial companies joined :BMO Financial Group, Danske Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, Natixis, Nomura, Northern Trust, OP Financial Group, Banco Santander, Scotiabank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, U.S. Bancorp and Westpac Banking Corporation.
As of April 25, 2016, three additional financial companies joined: SBI Holdings of Japan, Hana Financial of South Korea, and Bank Itau of Brazil.
On March 3, 2016, R3 announced that it had completed a trial involving 40 banks held in the last two weeks of February, testing the use of blockchain solutions offered by Monax, IBM, Intel and Chain to facilitate the trading of debt instruments. This was a follow-on to an 11-bank trial conducted earlier in January which used Ethereum hosted on Microsoft Azure.
In November 2016, Goldman Sachs, Santander and Morgan Stanley each withdrew from the consortium. On December 14, 2016, Credicorp becomes the first Spanish-speaking Latin American member of R3.
In April 2017, JPMorgan Chase quit R3 to pursue its own blockchain strategy.
On May 23, 2017, R3 publicly announced that it had secured the largest ever investment for distributed ledger technology with USD 107 million as part of its Series A funding round, from over 40 institutions, spanning over 15 countries globally.
Also in May 2017, the Bank of Canada and Payments Canada, as well of some Canadian chartered banks, announced the results of a year-long trial of R3 consortium's DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) which will not be adopted at this time for reasons of transaction privacy and scalability.
R3 has been represented by fintech PR firm, Chatsworth Communications, since launch. In October 2017, R3 announced the launch of new version of blockchain platform, Corda. It helps financial institutions to apply emerging technology more conveniently.
In August 2017, The Colombian central bank Banco de la República Colombia partnered with R3 consortium for the testing of the latter's distributed ledger technology (DLT) or Blockchain technology, called Corda. Meanwhile, R3 and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have recently completed testing of the Corda system for interbank payments. The project aims to create a system in which participants or users can transact in different global markets round-the-clock, and eliminate issues due to timezone and office hour differences.
In September 2017, R3 sued Ripple for specific performance of an option agreement in which Ripple agreed to sell up to five billion XRPs for a price of $.0085. Ripple countersued, claiming that R3 reneged on a number of contractual promises, and was simply acting in a spirit of opportunism after the cryptocurrency soared more than 30 times over. A Delaware judge ruled in favor of Ripple, but the case will continue in California and New York.
In October 2017, according to Cointelegraph seven major global banks partnered with R3 and Finastra for the development of the Blockchain technology-based marketplace for syndicated loans, called Fusion LenderComm. Among the banks are BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, State Street, and ING.
On December 6, 2017, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a partnership with R3 to allow the company's Corda platform to become one of the first ever distributed ledger technology solutions on the AWS. Corda allows users to deploy DApps onto the AWS platform and to create new apps directly. 
In December 2017, Korean banking giant Nonghyup (NH) Bank, which specializes in agricultural and commercial credit and banking services in South Korea, joined the R3 Blockchain consortium.
In March 2018, Credit Suisse and ING completed the first live securities lending transaction worth €25 million using an application from HQLAx, a financial technology firm, that was built on Corda.
In April 2018, Finastra launched the first live application on R3's Corda. Fusion LenderComm is a blockchain-powered platform for syndicated loans.
The decision of R3 to publicly proclaim that the Corda platform they have built is not a "blockchain" garnered criticism on a number of media outlets and microblogging services in early 2017. The assertion of R3 is that they "were never building [a] blockchain", though they were clear to emphasize the fact that they have not abandoned the concept of blockchain altogether. Corda is described as a distributed ledger, which "was never designed to be a traditional blockchain platform".
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The addition of the banks, which also include HSBC, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank and seven others, is a sign the industry is gathering behind R3 in one potential implementation of the distributed ledger technology behind the currency bitcoin.
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