R3’s Corda Enterprise is the First Ever Blockchain Firewall
Anticipated for over a year, R3’s Corda Enterprise has finally launched on July 10, 2018. R3 is an enterprise blockchain company that works with “a broad ecosystem of more than 200 members across multiple industries” in both the private and public sectors.
Corda is an open-source blockchain platform, and Corda Enterprise is the company’s commercial offer to business. Corda has been available as a construct since mid-2017, but the latest launch comes as a pitch to commerce, offering a platform that has now been tried and tested.
The Corda platform has been described as “blockchain-inspired” by R3, and is essentially a tailored marriage of business imperatives and kit-form blockchain application. Initial development actually stretches back two years and has involved dozens of participants from diverse disciplines.
The platform basically allows users to transact with one another via smart contracts – like an in-house blockchain app. That said, the potential application is vast, and although techies might baulk at calling it a pure blockchain project, it is a sleek app that finds appeal as a first-stage blockchain onboarding for typically hesitant legacy business.
Blockchain Inroads Into Industry And Commerce
The R3 CTO, Richard Brown, detailed the fact that the project has now attained stability of Corda’s API, something that lets third parties on board with confidence. His words also came with the added assurance that any future changes to the core will not impact developing or released projects.
“The blockchain industry in reality is still quite young,” Brown said. “Many of these platforms are changing quite rapidly.” He assured users that they can plan and build going forward with the surety of the company commitment to maintain the core designs.
Because of Corda’s architecture predictability and smooth API, the company’s platform has already found widespread application in diverse industries such as shipping, fintech, healthcare and insurance. The app executes and manages entities’ financial agreements in sync with their trading peers, giving rise to a world of faster, simplified and more elegant commerce. Some 13 months ago, R3 raised around $107 million to create the first commercial version of Corda.
An interesting claim accompanied Corda Enterprise’s release, that of being the “first-ever blockchain application firewall.” Although not a typical firewall, communication can be restricted between nodes that operate in different environments.
Varying information requirements can be accommodated out of necessity, as many of the company’s customers are positioned behind their own secure firewalls. In a nutshell, R3 is touting a ready-made “firewall” feature that should make business more comfortable about operating on the platform. Usually, this kind of add-on has to built by entering participants.
Blockchain Starts To Diversify
Although other apps have taken what they needed from blockchain and left out the rest, Corda is noteworthy as it has such massive potential application among such wealthy business echelons.
Brown notes frequent client issues that informed the Corda build, such as decentralized ledgers being deployed as a standalone solution on a network, without the prospect of future interoperability. Asset mobility is another common gripe, as is the fact that many blockchain apps deployed are not really managing that which is core to the company’s business fitness.
Part of Corda Enterprise node is left sitting outside of the network, in what Brown described as a sort of “demilitarized zone” that is still visible to users.
“That tiny locked-down piece is massively secured in the demilitarized zone and then it alone has a tiny umbilical cord that allows the data to flow back in and out of the firm,” Brown explained.
He added, “That separation of the nodes into those two pieces is the Corda blockchain firewall,” and opined that the construct would prove “transformational.”
Brown also dismissed critics’ allegations that building for interoperability might be premature, saying that the time was right for incorporating the demands of a future business landscape.
“That's what I've seen with some of the other platforms – standalone deployments; one application, one network – and it risks leading to a world of stranded assets and silos that we are trying to get away from,” Brown said.