NEW YORK (Reuters) – More than 15 members of blockchain consortium Hyperledger have either cut their financial support for the project or quit the group over the past few months, according to documents seen by Reuters.

Exchange operators CME Group and Deutsche Boerse have decided to downgrade their membership for the consortium starting at the end of January 2018, according to slides titled “member attrition” from a board meeting presentation held on Friday.

Led by the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger was launched in 2015 to develop blockchain technology for businesses. Blockchain, which first emerged as the system powering cryptocurrency bitcoin, is a shared record of data that is maintained by a network of computers on the internet.

CME Group and Deutsche Boerse were premier members of the group and will downgrade to a general membership.

Premier members are given board seats in the consortium and pay a fee of $250,000 a year. General memberships range from $5,000 to $50,000 based on the size of the companies, according to Hyperledger’s website.

Blockchain consortium R3 has also decided to downgrade its premier membership next year, according to the documents.

Spokespeople for CME Group and R3 confirmed the companies had downgraded their membership. Deutsche Boerse declined to comment.

Hyperledger executive director Brian Behlendorf said in a written statement that the group has seen “tremendous growth in membership” in 2017.

“We have seen some members who were part of the initial December 2015 cohort shift their spending priorities but remain members of the organization,” Behlendorf…

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