05.25.2016
By Rob Daly

A Future for R3CEV and Ripple?

One vaguely worded tweet by Chris Larsen, the CEO of blockchain payments vendor Ripple, has the blockchain community chattering about a potential relationship between his company and the R3CEV blockchain consortium.

“The future of fintech is bring together like-minded companies like @R3CEV and @Ripple,” he tweeted on May 19. “More details coming soon.”

When contacted for further details, a Ripple spokesperson stated that there was nothing else to share.

Industry watchers have downplayed the messages as a signal that either of the blockchain organizations might be in play.

Richard Johnson, Greenwich Associates

Richard Johnson,
Greenwich Associates

“R3 has been successful because it fostering cooperation between the banks as they explore blockchain technology,” said Richard Johnson, vice president, market structure & technology at industry-analysis firm Greenwich Associates. “They have been working with many different blockchain technology companies.”

R3CEV is best known for its internally developed Corda blockchain fabric, “which is specifically designed to manage financial agreements between regulated financial organizations,” wrote Richard Brown, CTO of R3CEV, on the consortium’s blog. “It’s is heavily inspired by and the captures the benefit of the blockchain systems, without the design choices that make blockchains in appropriate for many of the banking scenarios.”

Ripple, on the other had, is doing something different, according to Johnson. “It is focusing on payments, which doesn’t have lot of other blockchain players in the space. Ripple also has a head start.”

Given that both technologies are complementary, Johnson would not be surprised if the two organizations were to announce some sort of pilot project in the future.

R3CEV already announced that 11 member banks successfully completed a five-day global test of a private blockchain built using tools from Ethereum and hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing environment in late January.

“I see it as a significant but simple first step in what, hopefully, is many more and larger steps to come,” said Jeff Henderson, CIO of TD Bank Group, one of the 11 participating banks at the time of the announcement.

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