RBS blockchain team quits to form solo venture

September 21, 2018
Chris Wheal

Royal Bank of Scotland’s blockchain research team has deserted to form its own solo venture called Chorum, Coindesk revealed late on Thursday.

RBS’s blockchain team jumps ship to form its own venture

In an exclusive interview, Richard Crook, who headed up the RBS Innovation team, revealed he was taking with him engineers Mark Simpson, Ben Wyeth and Farzad Pezeshkpour.

The team takes on David Williams, co-founder of Avanti Communications, who will steer Crook and his engineers as chief executive of Chorum.

R3 Corda

Crook told Coindesk: “RBS has been a tremendous sponsor and employer. However, the blockchain space has outgrown and outpaced the incumbents including RBS.”

He added: “We wanted to be part of this wave of disruption to both the financial and other industries.”

The Chorum team, which developed the Cordite token project on R3’s Corda platform will continue to use R3’s technology in its new venture, and claimed it was leaving RBS with a “robust blockchain strategy”.

Spinning off start-ups

Chorum will act as a blockchain venture studio from which full-blown start-ups will be spun out, Crook added.

Williams told Coinbase that Chorum’s flagship blockchain protocol was called Arqit, which had just received “significant investment” in a token presale from Neo Global Capital, a Singapore-based crypto fund. For now, Arqit uses the ethereum ERC-20 token, but will migrate to its own native coin when its own blockchain goes live.

“Our approach is to build blockchain systems at our own cost, either by ourselves or as consortiums, and then look at an industry or marketplace and offer that blockchain in a software-as-a-service model,” Williams said.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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