Synchrony Financial said on Monday its has joined R3, a group of companies working on blockchain technology, making it the first credit card issuer to join the consortium.
Blockchain is a web-based transaction-processing and settlement system whose efficiency banks say could slash costs. It creates a "golden record" of any given set of data that is automatically replicated for all parties in a secure network, eliminating any need for third-party verification.
Led by a consortium of over 70 of the world's biggest financial institutions—called R3— the banking industry has been researching ways to harness the speed, accuracy and efficiency afforded by blockchain.
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The first cross-border transaction between banks using multiple blockchain applications took place on Monday, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Wells Fargo said, resulting in a shipment of cotton to China from the United States.