Editorial

Is Blockchain stalwart R3 entering choppy waters?

Reports say the well-funded Blockchain giant has hit a sticky patch – with engineers and senior management reportedly in fundamental disagreement over the future of its flagship enterprise product, Corda

Posted 27 August 2019 by

One of the best-funded Blockchain initiatives, R3, is reportedly suffering major internal rows about its future direction.

The news came before the Bank Holiday break on specialist Blockchain news and comment site The Block, which alleges that it’s heard from internal sources that engineers and senior management are in fundamental disagreement over the future of its flagship enterprise product, Corda.

Among the concerns, the reports states, are tussles over the platform’s basic design and development approach, which are reportedly creating a cultural gulf at the organisation, which has raised $120m in funding so far and which now has 200 employees and a presence in New York, Brazil, London – and now, it seems, Dublin.

The site also claims it’s spoken to other insiders who say the tensions – which are claimed to be behind a recent “exodus” of around 10% of its core engineering talent – point to wider problems in the Enterprise Blockchain space:

“Sources suggest R3 is struggling to decide its identity, spreading itself ‘too thin’ from being a financial software firm to a broad tech consortium. They also note frustration at the lack of ambition and clarity over what sort of blockchain Corda is trying to be… As a result, there are also concerns that the product will not offer viable efficiency gains for the wide array of businesses being targeted.”

It also quotes one recent departee claiming, “They lost sight of the main game – building something that brings value to users,” plus another who alleges, “They will get a big bank to implement Corda, I’m sure. But they [R3] will need to spend so much time firefighting it.”