Mike Ward - R3 Corda Project Lead: Corda A Distributed Ledger With A Difference

Corda A Distributed Ledger With A Difference

Mike walked us through the thought process R3 had when the consortium was formed a few years ago. Financial institutions recognized the potential for disruption bitcoin has and started to work from there. While naturally banks and regulators cannot allow a their transactions record to be shared on a public ledger, R3 attempted to develop an alternative architecture that will be a permission based ledger where only parties that has a stake in a transaction have visibility to the transaction details.

One of the key differences between Corda's architecture is that 'validation' and 'immutability' doesn't depend on public ledger consensus as it does in public Blockchains. This means that the computation efficiency is much better, however, the trade off is that the network is fragmented and there is no straightforward way of retrieving lost data. Corda does however embodies a point-to-point delivery vs. payments nature in the sense that there is no reliance on a central server to facilitate trust.

MWCorda1 Mike Ward presenting R3's Corda in MCIC

Smart-Contracts are also different as they are not a network wide distributed application but rather stakeholders in a contract have to install a contract, the full business logic of it is still under development at the moment.

Validation happens through an entity which is called 'Notary' in Corda's terminology, and a notary is essentially an equivalent to what we often see in today's financial sector landscape as an accounting firm that facilitates deals and acts as a risk reducing agent. However, a notary can also be a pool of different organizations depending on the real world scenario relevance.

Open Sourced Corda

Since end of 2016 R3 open sourced Corda's code and besides making it more available for startups and independent developers to participate and contribute to the codebase, it is now possible to make use of Corda and apply it independently of R3 consortium, the functionality of Corda can be suitable for any trade-finance and supply chain scenarios we can envision.

If you want to get more of Mike's workshop follow the links below to get the video and slides.

Mike Ward - Biosnap:

Mike Ward is the Product Lead for Corda and reports to R3's CTO working in the engineering team. Key to this effort is ensuring Corda is the platform that will make R3s customers and partners succeed. He brings over two decades of experience in enterprise software after working for Microsoft, Accenture, SAP and various startups.
Mike is Sydney based and as such is passionate about making APAC a strong ecosystem for driving innovation.