The move is seen as the latest push by large firms to move toward distributed ledger systems and a considerable move forward for the bitcoin based tech.
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) will work to enhance the privacy, security and scalability of the Ethereum blockchain, making it better suited to business applications, according to the founding companies.
Members of the 30-strong group also include Accenture, Banco Santander, Credit Suisse Group and shedloads of other bankers and financial groups. The EEA joins a growing list of joint initiatives by large companies aiming to take advantage of blockchain, a shared digital record of transactions that is maintained by a network of computers rather than a centralised authority.
Companies in a wide range of industries are hoping that it can help them streamline some of their processes, such as the clearing and settling of financial securities.
Ethereum, a type of blockchain that can be used to develop decentralised applications, was invented by 23-year-old programer Vitalik Buterin. Several banks have already adapted Ethereum to develop and test blockchain trading applications.
Alex Batlin, global blockchain lead at BNY Mellon, one of the companies on the EEA board, said over the past few years banks and other enterprises have increased collaboration with the Ethereum development community, facilitating the creation of the EEA.
SThe EEA will collaborate with the non-profit foundation that promotes the development of Ethereum, the companies said.