The 40-strong bank consortium led by fintech innovation company R3 CEV has trialled five distinct blockchain technologies in parallel.

The trial represented the trading of fixed-income assets between the consortium’s participating banks, using multiple cloud technology providers within R3’s Global Collaborative Lab. The scale of institutional collaboration involved made the blockchain trial all the more significant.

As R3 explains in a statement, the banks evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of each technology by running smart contracts that were programmed to facilitate issuance, secondary trading and redemption of commercial paper, a short-term fixed-income security typically issued by corporations to raise funding.

The distributed ledger technologies were built by Chain, Eris Industries, Ethereum, IBM and Intel. Cloud computing resources to host the blockchains were provided by Microsoft Azure, IBN Cloud and Amazon AWS.

“Close collaboration among global financial institutions and technology providers will create significant momentum behind the adoption of distributed ledger solutions across the industry,” says David Rutter, R3 CEO.

The work of the global collaborative lab will continue over the coming months to test and develop applications based on distributed ledger technology for the financial services industry. “In January we were able to demonstrate the ability to unite eleven global financial institutions on a private distributed ledger provided by Ethereum. With the completion of this trial we have raised the bar significantly,” says Tim Grant, managing director and global head of the lab. “This represents great momentum for the R3 consortium and the technology providers and supports our aim to move distributed ledger technology from vision to execution.”

Banks’ experiments with blockchain technology are happening outside of the R3 consortium, too. JP Morgan is testing dollar transactions between London and Tokyo for over 2,000 clients, while the likes of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, DBS and Standard Chartered are working on blockchain-based solutions for the trade finance industry specifically.