As of November 2016, any institution that wants to develop applications using distributed ledger technology, will be able to do so on R3’s distributed ledger platform, Corda.
The global consortium behind the development and application of distributed ledger technology in financial markets is making the source code platform for Corda publicly available, potentially paving the way for it to become the industry standard.
R3’s goal from the beginning was to deliver a distributed ledger solution that was open source, so as to allow the entire financial services industry to benefit and learn from its work. As the programme develops, it is evident that applications ought to be built on a common, unified platform to avoid any issues that may result from a fragmented approach.
The power of this technology lies in its network effect; therefore the consortium model, as utilised by R3, is the ideal method to get it off the drawing board and into the wholesale financial markets. By making Corda open source at a time when many participants are still at nascent stages of developing proof-of-concepts and use-cases, R3 provides a standardised environment in which to ensure these applications are scalable, interoperable and secure.
The consortium approach has repeatedly proved successful in financial markets. One of the best examples is CLS, built with a single technology provider with the backing of a consortium of banks and regulators. It was set up to mitigate a very real issue in the FX market – namely settlement risk. 15 years later it still performs a critical role in maintaining trust and stability in the currency market.
Will R3 become the next market infrastructure? The seeds are certainly being sown for this to occur as the consortium continues to strengthen its diverse membership and move ever closer to introducing practical applications for distributed ledgers.