Fortune: R3 Blockchain Consortium Is ‘Running out of Money’, Director Denies Rumors

While last year R3 had implied that the company had a larger goal of raising $200 mln in funding, R3 told Fortune that the figure came from a now-cancelled plan to sell a stake in a research subsidiary. The unnamed former R3 employees told Fortune that the consortium’s internal financial targets are “10X short” of their revenue, with the figure described as “laughably off.”

Charley Cooper, an R3 managing director, told Fortune that the company is not in danger of running out of revenue and will release an update on their finances at the end of the calendar year:

“We currently have more than sufficient funding and at this point have no plans to raise additional money.”

At the end of May, Forex settlement provider CLS invested $5 mln in R3 as part of a reported third round of R3 fundraising.

One unnamed former R3 employee told Fortune that one of the problems the consortium faced was a lack of developers for R3’s Corda blockchain:

“Although R3 will say 1,300 architects are contributing to Corda, if you look at the public release notes of R3, there will be no more than three people listed. The public version of Ethereum had 10,000 developers contributing.”

R3’s founding members had included banking giants JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, but Goldman Sachs (and bank Santander) left the consortium in 2016. An unnamed Goldman Sachs source told Fortune that the bank left due to the unexpectedly large size of the consortium.

R3 recently partnered with enterprise startup Bloxian Technology, which is notable in that it is a step away from the business model of partnering with banks. R3’s turn to enterprise blockchain sales means that they are now competing with organizations like the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, whose members include JP Morgan and Microsoft, as well as Hyperledger, according to Fortune.

R3 also filed a lawsuit against Ripple (XRP) last year, claiming that the latter had violated an agreement for R3 to purchase 5 bln XRP tokens for $0.0085 before the end of 2019. Ripple denies an obligation to pay, citing R3’s alleged failure to follow through on parts of the agreement. The case will be held in New York City, with the value of 5 bln XRP now equal to around $3.3 bln — which could represent a much-need cash infusion, Fortune reports.

R3 did not respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment by press time.


Citizen Lab’s Ron Deibert: How Nations Use Cyber Warfare to Target Human Rights Defenders

Goldman Sachs is working on an iPhone app for the masses (GS) – You’ll be able to access and manage your Goldman Sachs accounts through an app on your smartphone in the near future. Goldman Sachs, which has been expanding its offerings to retail consumers in recent years, is building an iOS app for its growing crop of digital retail banking services, according to a job listing on the company website . The bank is recruiting mobile developers to work in its Consumer Finance Technology…


5 Big Takeaways From Fortune Brainstorm Tech

Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference wrapped up Wednesday and so after a few hours to ponder the last three days in Aspen, Colo., here are my top five personal takeaways.

1: There’s no easy fix for fake news.

On Wednesday, journalists Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, David Sanger of The New York Times (nyt), and Isaac Lee, chief content officer of Univision, weighed in on the U.S. political climate and its impact on the media. Suffice it to say, things don’t look good.

The repetition of “fake news” claims by members of the Trump Administration has become a branding tool to undermine the press, said Mitchell, who is NBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent. She noted that journalists never quite reconciled how to report on the hacked documents from the Hillary Clinton campaign—whether to ignore them because they were illegally obtained or to vigorously report on them.

“We have not figured out what to do with this and it’s turned everything upside down,” she noted.

Lee who was born in Colombia and lives in Mexico, was asked to represent the rest of the world in his assessment of the status quo in U.S. political and media worlds. And, he didn’t sugarcoat it: “The U.S. is starting to look like a third-world Latin American country.”

None of the panelists suggested a fix for the problem other than that journalists must continue doing their jobs as if they were not under siege. “The biggest single mistake we could do in navigating our coverage of the Trump administration would be to let ourselves become the resistance to the government in place,” said Sanger, chief national security correspondent for the Times. Falling into that trap truly would undermine the media’s credibility.

2: Cyber tensions are sky high

What the Russians did during the recent U.S. elections is serious, but it’s unclear if it rises to the level of cyber warfare. And there’s a real difference between spying and waging cyber war, according to Gen. Keith Alexander, former director of the NSA.

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The difference, he said, is intent. “Cyber war is to inflict damage while spying is to learn secrets,” he said. Every nation engages in cyber spying. The stakes are much higher in cyber warfare, because these acts can provoke responses that could escalate, perhaps even in the physical counterattack.

One example of real cyber warfare was the attack on Sony, purportedly by North Korean actors. Cyber attacks on the Ukraine, meant to destabilize that country’s economy and stability, are another example.

3: The government is broken

Former CIA Director John Brennan spoke bluntly about the need to dial down partisan rancor in the federal government for the greater good. Citizens must put pressure on their elected officials—of both parties— to bury the hatchet and work together, he said.

“This partisan environment will undermine this country’s future and prosperity,” Brennan said. “Political agendas are overriding national security considerations and it is outrageous. I have never seen it this bad in 37 years.”

4: Progress is slow on the diversity front

The room was packed for Tuesday’s town hall discussion about diversity and inclusion in tech. Evertoon founder Ninian Wang talked about her crusade to expose serial sexual harassers in the industry, and got a lot of audience support. But when PicMonkey chairman Jonathan Sposato posited that women don’t always support other women in the industry, things got heated fast.

OpenTable (open) CEO Christa Quarles, took the microphone, calling his contention “bullshit.”

“In Silicon Valley today there is a sisterhood of women who are supporting each other, telling each other about board opportunities, giving each other business ideas,” she responded.

Later in the week, Wang said men need to come forward about sexual harassment and that “deafening silence” on their part is a big part of the problem.

“Women should not have to risk their careers and mortgages” to bring their harassers to account, she said.

Despite a new pledge by tech firms to do better on this front, there is lots of work to do. Nicole Farb, an entrepreneur and former Goldman Sachs banker, said Silicon Valley is far less advanced on this issue than Wall Street, typically seen as another male-dominated bastion.

“Seventeen percent of the bankers at Goldman Sachs are women and just 7% of the valley,” she noted.

5: Richard Sherman Is Sick Of Mainstream Media

President Trump isn’t the only one fed up with the media landscape. Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has his own bone to pick with the major outlets, which he says are stooping to TMZ-style reporting. That disaffection is one reason he’s a contributor to The Player’s Tribune, the online publication launched three years ago by former New York Yankees all-star shortstop Derek Jeter.

Sherman sees The Tribune as a channel for players to put out their own stories out without filtering them through the big outlets, which he says sensationalize them to get clicks. A public relations executive attending the show said many tech companies feel the same way. “Maybe we should start a Vendors’ Tribune,” she noted.