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What is Corda?

BlockChain Expert 04/December/2017
In the beginning itself, the blockchain was mostly heard for its possible applications in the financial domain. Bitcoin started it, and now most of the existing financial infrastructures are attracted towards the blockchain technology. Many of the financial institutions already started to implement blockchain assisted technologies.  Consequently, more finance domain specific blockchain development platforms also came into existence. Corda is one of them.

Corda is a distributed ledger platform specially designed for the financial sector. It is an open source platform that can be used to build apps for financial institutions on top of it. It is a permissioned private network designed to record, manage and synchronize contracts and other shared data between partners. Corda is governed by R3 consortium which is a collaboration of 70+ finance institutions. According to R3, Corda is a distributed ledger technology and isn’t a blockchain. In fact, R3 provides a platform for developing and deploying distributed apps for different financial use cases. 

The distributed apps created with Corda is known as CorDapps. DemoBench is a standalone desktop application provided by Corda to configure and launch local Corda nodes. It is a very useful tool for training sessions and development of CorDapps.  

Corda has many similarities as well as differences with many existing blockchain/distributed ledger technologies. Corda allows the creation of immutable records for financial events.  But unlike other blockchains, the transactions are done privately in Corda. Corda smart contracts can be written in Java or any other JVM language like kotlin (a java derived language). 

And most importantly, Corda is not tied to any particular consensus algorithm and it doesn't have its own cryptocurrency.  It uses the “Notary" infrastructure for ‘sequencing of transactions’ and validating the transactions. And it does not broadcast a transaction globally for validation purpose.  A Corda network may have multiple ‘Notaries’ and they validate the transactions using different algorithms. 

The ultimate objective of Corda is to remove costly friction in business transactions by avoiding businesses intermediaries. Since it is only focusing on finance domain, its architecture is simple than that of Ethereum or Fabric. This approach gives performance and security advantage for Corda over other enterprise-level blockchain frameworks. Just like many other distributed technologies, Corda is also in its infant stage and it is hard to make a conclusion on its prospects.