Thirteen more banks have joined financial innovation firm R3’s initiative to apply blockchain technology to financial markets, bringing the total number of member banks to 22.

Two weeks after the announcement of a collaborative effort to develop distributed ledger technology for financial use, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML), BNY Mellon, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), Citi, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, National Australia Bank (NAB), Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), SEB, Société Générale and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TDB) have joined the group.

These banks will now work alongside the initial participants (Barclays, BBVA, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, RBS, State Street and UBS) to develop commercial applications for blockchain, and come up with standards and protocols to harmonise its implementation.

They will work in a collaborative lab or “sandbox” to test and validate distributed ledger prototypes.

“The addition of this new group of banks demonstrates widespread support for innovative distributed ledger solutions across the global financial services community, and we’re delighted to have them on board,” says David Rutter, CEO of R3. “We have placed an emphasis on working with the market from day one, and our partners recognise that a collaborative model is the best way to quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively deliver these new technologies to global financial markets.”

Niall Cameron, head of markets, Emea at HSBC, adds: “Innovative, open-source developments like distributed ledger technology require expertise to deliver but have huge potential, offering banks and their clients the prospect of enhanced security, lower costs and improved error reduction.”