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Forex company CLS invests $5m in R3

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CLS, the world’s leader in FX settlement solutions, confirmed to Reuters that it’s investing $5m in R3. The company will get a seat on the board. While unconfirmed, Singapore real estate firm OUE and Japanese IT services provider TIS are each investing $5m.

“CLS is critically important to the functioning of one of the most important markets in the world,” R3’s chief executive officer, David Rutter, told Reuters in an emailed statement. “It is absolutely right that major infrastructure players like this look to technologies such as blockchain to continue making their products and services faster, easier, safer and more cost-effective for the end user.”

A year ago R3 raised $107m in a Series A round backed by more than 40 organizations, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC, and Intel.

At the time there were raised eyebrows about the absence of four major banks who were part of the original consortium: JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Santander, and Morgan Stanley. With the former two, the issue was rumored to be they wanted a more dominant role. Sources told Ledger Insights that at least one of these companies is now using R3’s Corda technology.


JP Morgan built it’s own open-source enterprise blockchain offering, Quorum, by adding a layer on top of Ethereum. Quorum is seen as one of the major offerings. But rumors about JP Morgan’s intention to divest it has created substantial uncertainty.

Apart from Quorum, the most significant competitors to R3’s technology are Hyperledger Fabric and Enterprise versions of Ethereum. Fabric is open source and the platform of choice of IBM, the biggest player in the blockchain space. There are some banking specific competitors such as Digital Asset and Axoni. However, Corda’s reach goes beyond banking to numerous enterprise applications.

The past month has seen multiple high profile systems launch using R3’s Corda. These projects are in production, not just pilots. For example, Finastra’s syndicated loan system and the EY/Guardtime marine insurance project with Maersk.

Corda is doing well, but it’s a rapidly evolving landscape. One enterprise user told Ledger Insights “can they stop and start sleeping now? Absolutely Not. They’re working very hard to make it even better.”