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RBS Blockchain Team Jumps Ship to Start R3 Chorum Venture Studio Project

Members of Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) blockchain team have announced that they are leaving to launch an R3 Chorum venture studio, a project that aims to do for Corda what ConsenSys is doing for Ethereum.

Richard Crook, former head of the RBS innovation team has made the move, taking with him engineers Mark Simpson, Ben Wyeth and Farzad Pezeshkpour.

Crook and his team were responsible for developing the Cordite token project on R3‘s Corda platform, which RBS led in a bid to create a generic crypto asset blockchain system for the banking industry.

The aim of Chorum will be to support blockchain startups, much like that of ConsenSys, a venture production studio that supports and facilitates startups looking to build decentralised apps (DApps) under their own umbrella.

In a recent interview, the former head of RBS’ Innovation Team, Richard Crook said:

“the blockchain space has outgrown and outpaced the incumbents including RBS.”

Crook explained that he and his team have taken the move in response to the needs of blockchain technology to disrupt not only the banking industry, but a diverse number of industries.

David Williams, former CEO of Avanti Communications, a UK based satellite operator, selling wholesale satellite broadband and satellite connectivity services throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is said to be earmarked for the role of CEO of Chorum.  In an interview with Williams, he explained that the team plans to incur the costs either:

“by [themselves] or as consortiums, and then look at an industry or marketplace and offer that blockchain as a software-as-a-service model.”

The R3 Chorum Venture Studio reportedly aims to create an ecosystem for enterprises that are powered by the ‘ArQit‘ protocol, which is said to potentially have the power to prevent security attacks, making it “quantum-resistant”.

r3 chorum venture studio
R3 Chorum Venture Studio Project to be powered by Arqit Protocol on Ethereum

The team are being supported by crypto-fund, Neo Global Capital (NGC), and a token sale to be launched on the Ethereum blockchain, via an ERC20 token, is currently being discussed.  The set hard cap has been estimated at USD$30 million.

This move by RBS former employees, is yet another example of departures by enterprise blockchain professionals in financial institutions, however Crook was eager to state that:

“RBS has been a tremendous sponsor and employer.”

As per a previous BCTech Report, former global blockchain leader, and partner of one of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms Deloitte, resigned to join blockchain start-up Citizens Reserve.  Other notable departures include that of Julio Faura of Santander and Ed Budd of Deutsche Bank, who quit and joined forces to form Adhara.

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