R3 CEV, the startup leading a consortium of banks to develop a common blockchain framework, is looking to further expand its growing team with unique talent.
Bitcoin’s blockchain technology and other distributed ledger concepts inspired by it are envisioned to transform the way banks clear assets, among many other applications.
“The reality is that banks were amongst the earliest adopters of information technology and…have done a good job in automating previously manual processes and in digitising previously physical processes.”
Over the past several months, R3 has brought together 42 banks and plans on adding exchanges and clearing houses to the group. Recently, it brought on board a number of Bitcoin and cryptography experts.
It is currently advertising 8 positions, including engineers, a lead architect, a business development associate and a social media manager.
In discussing the hiring push, managing director and chief technology officer Richard Gendal Brown says he is looking for people with experience in banking technology and who have a passion for the blockchain. He points out the importance of understanding Bitcoin, including the ability to “explain the block size debate in a way that all sides would agree was fair.”
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He’s looking for those excited by the application of modern cryptography, consensus techniques and internet-scale technologies to “some of the thorniest problems in financial technology.” But, “if you think ‘a blockchain’ is the answer to every question then you probably shouldn’t apply.”
Banking on the Blockchain
Brown further seeks to dispel what he considers to be the myth of banks clinging to outdated technology. He writes:
“The reality is that banks were amongst the earliest adopters of information technology and, contrary to popular belief, they have done a good job in automating previously manual processes and in digitising previously physical processes.”
Rather, he argues, there are significant opportunities to improve the cost and efficiency of their architectures, and the blockchain is “showing us how.”
He goes on to offer an interesting IT perspective on where exactly a blockchain framework fits in with the banks. For example, banks have ledgers detailing their positions and agreements with other banks, who in turn maintain similar ledgers. Overall, there is an overlap of information, occasionally leading to error and a source of risk. Thus:
“The maturation of cryptographic techniques, exemplified in part by ‘blockchain technology’, provides a new opportunity: the possibility of authoritative systems of record that are securely shared between firms. This provides the opportunity to implement new shared platforms for the recording of financial events and processing of business logic: one where a single global logical ledger is authoritative for agreements between firms recorded on it, even though the relationships and obligations recorded remain between those firms.”
The startup states that it is headquartered in New York with offices in San Francisco and London.