A major insurance firm just joined this blockchain consortium

Lynsey Barber
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MetLife joins more than 50 other financial firms at R3

The blockchain consortium R3 has signed up yet another new member, this time the major US insurance firm MetLife.

The addition brings the number of members to more than 60 and it joins the likes of the biggest banks such as Barclays, HSBC and Goldman Sachs.

The insurer will work with the other financial services firms to explore how blockchain technology can be applied in the industry, including streamlining work such as policy admin, payments and managing new investments.

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“The addition of a major insurance player such as MetLife is testament to the growing interest in distributed ledger technology amongst the non-bank financial services community," said chief executive of R3 David Rutter.

"Our consortium is now one of the largest of its kind ever assembled in the financial technology space, with some of the world’s largest banks and financial institutions working together to deliver cutting-edge solutions that can be applied to the benefit of all end users and their clients."

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R3 is working on a private blockchain platform called Corda, for which it filed a patent last week, it was revealed. A private blockchain differs from the public blockchain on which bitcoin runs, with only approved members having access.

Members of the consortium are working with the platform as a building block for creating prototypes and proof-of-concepts said R3 chief technology officer Richard Brown.