Enterprise software firm R3 has reached a major milestone with the release of version 1.0 of its Corda distributed ledger platform.
Corda is described by the company as the world’s “only distributed ledger platform designed and built from the ground up to record, manage and synchronise contracts and other shared data between trading partners”.
The platform’s codebase was developed as part of the collaboration between R3’s 50 member firms, and will be an open source release.
The team behind the platform have been at pains since the initial announcement, however, to stress that Corda is not a blockchain. The platform shares a number of key attributes with blockchain, but R3 lists the differences as fundamentally coming down to its lean-size, plug-ability and proposed use cases.
In a technical whitepaper on Corda, lead platform engineer Matt Hearn wrote:
“There is no block chain. Transaction races are deconflicted using plug-gable notaries. A single Corda network may contain multiple notaries that provide their guarantees using a variety of different algorithms. Thus Corda is not tied to any particular consensus algorithm.”
Core API stability
The release of Corda 1.0 is an important milestone because it means the platform has achieved API stability for the first time.
This is important because it means that developers can now build applications on the platform, and continue to upgrade as the platform matures with knowledge that the core APIs won’t change.
In a blog post on the company’s website, CTO Richard Gendal Brown, said:
“This is a critical landmark on the industry’s path to widespread adoption of enterprise blockchain technology and DLT and it is a promise that no other competing platform has made.”
The platform is marketing itself as a solution to a number of key problems that come from the huge multiplicity of data systems, recording techniques and storage techniques that are currently a feature of global commerce.
Firstly, the duplication and inconsistency of payment systems means that there are delays and inefficient in the way money moves around the system. Corda allows banks to settle their obligations to each other at any time with maximal liquidity.
Secondly, firms have already begun to build platforms that automate pre-and post-shipping financing for buyers and sellers on an open account basis.
Thirdly, the platform allows for commercial paper deals to transact instantly without the need to pay an agent or clearing system.