R3 was launched as a consortium of more than 70 banks interested in development and integration of blockchain in the financial system. But what if it goes further?
As a startup company with a few hundred staff, R3 has started to promote Corda – the platform powered by distributed ledger technology – as a tool to connect diverse enterprises, not only financial ones. The basic concept is simple: if businesses share information and resources with each other on a single platform, they can decrease repetitive processes and at the same time be sure that everyone is on the same page.
For instance, hotels, airlines, and travel agencies can reach an agreement on all the points about seats on the plane and booked rooms realizing that the shared information is identical for anyone at any time. So Corda has a potential to build a global “automatic economy” with bots that help to manage multiple chains of supply.
Corda has already drawn much attention on what R3 led by Richard Gendal Brown is doing as now many corporations are thinking about blockchain integration for their needs. At the same time, the closest competitor Hyperledger is on its way to equip each enterprise and industry sector with some kind of distributed ledger solution. For the R3 team, it is an experimental period. At the moment it is in its final stage with the development of the paid version of the open-source platform that will be available in a couple of months beyond the members of the financial consortium.
Open and secured
We are so used to publicity and transparency of blockchain but R3 propose something definitely new. How about blockchains accessible for corporate members only? The model of inclusion means that the network is still open but simultaneously it stays confidential, safe and permissioned.
On the one hand, R3 is inspired by the idea of the decentralized economy with the single business algorithm that can abolish discrepancy of diverse applications. On the other hand, the company realizes that what is reasonable for cryptocurrencies, can be undesirable for business. Public networks powered by blockchain technology often share too much data. The Corda’s solution implies to reduce the amount of information distributed to the participants.
Generally, companies keep their information in totally secured centers and use their own software to protect it. And information which companies need to reach an agreement and set connections with each other is kept also there. The problem is that the firms have to link together using the public internet. If the company set a business blockchain node simply on the internet – a usual practice for cryptocurrencies – it will be at least risky and inefficiently.
Corda provides a node that is integrated into the system of financial structure, manufacture or hotel and effectively protected by the firm. However, a little piece of the node can still connect with other companies. It also noticeable on the internet. The R3 team calls it “the float” as it binds the basic node with the public surface. The company assures that the Corda node is extra little and safe.