ING part of the world’s biggest blockchain investment

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23 May 2017

ING and dozens of other banks have invested USD 107 million into R3 a group developing distributed ledger technology for financial companies.

Fintech R3 wants to speed up the development of blockchain-based technology for financial institutions and ING’s investment is a further step in its innovation strategy to support this.

“ING is committed to making it easy for customers to do business with us: both through small and continuous improvements and radical changes. Our recent investment in R3 stands for the latter. We believe blockchain can become a true game-changer,” said Mark Buitenhek, ING’s head of Transaction Services.

This is the second phase in ING’s collaboration with the Wall Street-based consortium. In 2015, ING and 30 other banks formed an expert group to study possible regulatory and legal implications of blockchain use in financial services. R3 tested prototypes and worked on blockchain case studies within financial markets, such as interest rate swaps and commercial paper.

Now, the global bank partnership has extended to 80 institutions.

“This massive investment is unprecedented,” said CEO of R3 David Rutter.

“Many of the world’s largest financial firms have come together not just with capital support, but with a robust commitment to work with R3 in developing foundational industry solutions that will be the building blocks of the new financial services infrastructure,” he continued.

“ING is regularly mentioned as a leader in the blockchain space,” said Benoit Legrand, ING’s global head of Fintech.

“We firmly believe that partnering with R3 and other leading banks will help us to further explore commercially viable blockchain use cases in the best interest of our customers.”

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is a shared distributive ledger that is not controlled by a single user but by all in the chain. Devised by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, it enables people to exchange electronic currency ‘peer-to-peer’, cutting out middlemen such as central banks, governments or online payment systems.

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