R3 Releases Corda Codebase in Hopes of Open Innovation

The R3CEV blockchain consortium today released its code for Corda, its distributed ledger technology, into the wider world. The Corda code was also accepted into the Hyperledger project, alongside other budding distributed ledger technology.

Despite recent events, R3 is still the largest consortium of banks dedicated to producing blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, for banking needs including trade finance and digital identity.

Releasing Corda as an open-source platform means that whoever wishes can play around with the code (which can be found here, for the curious). However, they like—submitting fixes, proposing new ideas or use cases, or even building something entirely new or different based off of the source code.

This type of approach is a matter of debate in the blockchain world, particularly as it applies to fintech, as companies and developers weigh the pros and cons of open-source, or permissionless blockchains (such as Ethereum and now Corda, among others) versus closed or permissioned blockchain, like this project for trade finance recently announced by IBM (not Hyperledger, just IBM).

“We’re moving from proof-of-tech to proof-of-value now,” says Sandeep Kumar, managing director for Synechron, which has developed six blockchain accelerators for six separate use cases that can be used openly. “The biggest problem with blockchain now is interoperability. It’s very different [in approach] when it was fifteen years ago, when everything was proprietary.”

When it comes to blockchain, interoperability refers to its ability to not just work with other blockchain or distributed ledger technology, but to also work with existing systems. This is an area of particular importance when it comes to using the technology for banks and other financial institutions, and the tangled snarl of legacy systems many of them primarily run on.

The biggest benefit of an open-source platform is the level of innovation that is possible, as more people contribute and collaborate. The best example of this is arguably Ethereum’s open-source code, which has led to dozens if not hundreds of new platforms, new use cases (like Synechron’s trade finance and insurance accelerators, for instance), and new ideas since its launch.

Here’s hoping we will see the same from Corda.

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