R3 Consortium Welcomes Absa As First African Bank Partner

It has been a while since we last heard anything from the R3 consortium. Good news does not come in abundance, albeit the consortium is making some waves in the African region of the world. Absa is the first African bank to join R3’s efforts in the world of blockchain technology. This is quite an interesting addition, as South Africa has been relatively quiet on the blockchain front so far.

Absa Is Joining The Blockchain Bandwagon

Even though it is positive to see this worldwide interest in blockchain technology, the concept R3 is pursuing has little to do with open blockchain standards. That is not keeping South African financial heavyweight Absa from joining the R3 consortium bandwagon, though, as they want to be a part of cost-saving measures.

Albeit Absa is the first South African bank to publicly show interest in distributed ledger technology; other players are lining up to collaborate as we speak. According to our sources, several South African banks will work together with Absa to create the first DLT-based banking solution for all of Africa. Quite an optimistic venture by the Barclays Africa Group Limited subsidiary, but it will be interesting to see how the plans evolve in the coming months.

As one would come to expect from a distributed solution, this DLT-based banking solution will share intellectual property among all participants. Barclays Africa feels confident the adoption of this technology will not take too much time. In fact, they are a firm believer of how disruptive innovation will become mainstream in the financial world.




Interestingly enough, Barclays Africa has conducted some smaller tests with DLTs in 2015. The Rise open innovation platform featured an Africa-wide blockchain supply chain challenge. Not too many details regarding this project were revealed, though. The bank went on by stating ho “over ten different blockchain-based concepts are being piloted” right now.

For the R3 consortium, the addition of Absa is a big deal. Their efforts now span all of the major continents around the world. With over 50 participants, the development of distributed ledger technology will start bearing fruits shortly. How these projects and concepts will be received by the general public, remains to be seen.

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