- R3 Blockchain reduces staff by 20% due to challenging economic climate.
- Despite layoffs, R3 remains focused on innovation and growth.
- The company forges ahead with key partnerships, including CBDC projects.
R3, the prominent enterprise blockchain firm that once held favor among major global banks, has undertaken a workforce reduction, affecting approximately 20% of its employees, as part of a broader effort to trim operational costs. This strategic move was disclosed by R3 in a blog post, citing challenging economic conditions that have necessitated a shift in the company’s focus and business approach.
The company stated, “In light of our refined strategic focus, we are also optimizing our internal operations, regrettably leading to a reduction in headcount across various departments,” without specifying the exact extent of the staff reductions.
According to unnamed sources cited by Bloomberg, the layoffs indeed impacted around one-fifth of R3’s workforce, affecting various roles and locations within the company. R3 is headquartered in New York but maintains an office in the U.K., where a significant portion of its software development activities occur.
While enterprise blockchain technology has gained prominence over the years, it remains a sector characterized by gradual progress, often requiring years for project fruition. R3 has announced numerous such projects, collaborating with industry giants such as DTCC and Euroclear in the clearing and settlement domain, the Swiss stock exchange SIX, and the Central Bank of the UAE.
However, several of these projects have faced delays or abandonment, leading to revenue losses for R3, as reported by insiders.
Despite the staff reductions, the company, established in 2015, asserts that it remains robust and well-positioned. Notably, it secured $107 million in funding six years ago through a funding round led by major banking entities including Barclays, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.
R3 remarked, “This restructuring will not only enhance organizational agility and efficiency but also ensure R3’s capacity to innovate, grow, and continue delivering for its clients, even in the midst of market uncertainties.”
Initially conceived as a consortium of the world’s largest banks, providing them with a collaborative blockchain platform for innovation, R3 transitioned into a private entity in 2017, focusing on the development of blockchain solutions for financial service firms.
In recent times, R3 has unveiled partnerships with the Central Bank of the UAE and the Central Bank of Nigeria for their respective Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) initiatives. In the case of the latter, R3 is poised to deploy a blockchain-based system to empower Nigeria’s central bank with comprehensive control over its emerging eNaira digital currency.
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