SST Awards 2018: Best Distributed-Ledger Technology Project—R3

Charley Cooper, R3
Charley Cooper

As far as distributed-ledger technology firms go, there has only been one that stands out for its platform built specifically for finance, and takes home the award for the best distributed-ledger technology project at the Sell-Side Technology Awards 2018: R3 with its Corda platform. 

Charley Cooper, managing director at R3, tells Waters that the award is a result of its work with the industry in rethinking the blockchain concept entirely and coming up with a new approach to link businesses that reduces cost, risk and duplication. 

Corda is backed by $107 million in investment from more than 40 global companies. It was originally designed by and for the financial industry, with input from over 200 banks, financial institutions, regulators, trade associations, professional services firms and technology companies. 

It is designed to record, manage and synchronize contracts and other shared data between trading partners. 

One of Corda’s unique features is in its approach to data privacy and security in the blockchain space. Corda only sends data to those who have a “need to know.” This feature stems from financial institutions needing to ensure the confidentiality of trades and agreements, while simultaneously benefiting from a shared distributed-ledger infrastructure. R3 is now working on the first commercial deployment of applications based on Corda, known as CorDapps. Over the last two years, it has worked to build a community of partners and provide them with the support and freedom to develop solutions that solve customers’ specific challenges. “Our partners are working with us in a number of ways: With some such as Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Intel and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Corda is being integrated with their technology; some are building end-user applications on Corda, such as Calypso, Finastra, SIA and TradeIX; some are delivering custom-built solutions for clients on Corda; and some are advising their clients on the business potential of the platform,” says Cooper. He adds that in the next few months, the first CorDapps will be commercially deployed. 

While each partner is at different stages of development, the first commercial deployments of CorDapps will include a foreign-exchange application in partnership with Calypso, a collateral-lending application in partnership with HQLAx, an open account trade finance application partnering with TradeIX, and a gold trading application in partnership with Tradewind. 

Cooper says R3 will continue enhancing and refining the platform and make software updates available when more features have matured.  

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