R3 has announced considerations of launching an initial public offering (IPO). Advisors are being consulted regarding the viability of an IPO, as several potential buyers have already approached the company. The final decision lies on the shoulders of R3’s founder and CEO David Rutter, with input given from R3’s investors.
R3 is a blockchain collaboration of sorts, with over 200 members participating. Companies involved in this ecosystem range from tech giants like Intel and Microsoft to established financial institutions like US Bancorp and Wells Fargo, illustrating a unique mixture of what the Fintech sector has to offer.
The company also has an offering being used by some select partners, known as the Corda platform. An open source version is available and is also R3’s main source of revenue, as it also offers a commercial version.
While no definite plans of an IPO have been made, if the blockchain company follows through, it could have serious implications for the course of the company after going public.
As investors have a say in how the company operates through voting and other mechanisms, what things R3 focus on in the future could be completely different from those it would pursue if it were to remain a private corporation.
Not only could this force R3 to make something profitable rather than innovative, members of the platform may even begin to leave. Goldman Sach Group and Banco Santander left the group a couple years ago, and others may follow suit if potential new management doesn’t align with current member interests.
On the other hand, going public may do favors not only for the company but for cryptocurrency. By going public, many institutional investors may have to finally take cryptocurrency seriously. While the sentiment is beginning to change, it’s hard to ignore an IPO with the endorsement of over 200 proven companies, ranging from blue-chip stocks to household names.
R3 may be able to receive huge amounts of funding in the process, and cryptocurrency’s brand image could receive a positive makeover.
The blockchain company’s mission from the start is to “deliver a blockchain solution for the widest possible business community”, so any choice made will be with this in mind.
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