While DLT technologies are moving slowly toward production, an executive from blockchain consortium R3 is hinting that this might not be the defining trend for enterprises this year.

In remarks yesterday at CoinDesk’s developer conference, Construct 2017, R3 associate director and former Credit Suisse blockchain architect, Clemens Wan, predicted that 2017 will be defined by DLT pilots, while 2018 will see the technology migrate to production.

The comments come just months after the open-source release of its custom distributed ledger technology (DLT), Corda, became a part of the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger blockchain project’s collection of enterprise technologies.

Since then, R3 said it has attracted more than 600 users to its slack channel, and more than 19,000 visitors to its website,, as it seeks to reach its next milestone, the release of a test version of its DLT system in the first or second quarter.

In this light, Wan framed R3’s technology as one that requires broader buy-in from enterprises and corporates to achieve a strong network effect and top-level applications.

Wan said:

“Corda is the Xbox Live, it’s the ecosystem, it’s the connectivity. We want to focus on the platform and services.”

Wan was also frank about R3’s transition from a membership consortium and laboratory to this new model, tracing the startup’s path from using ethereum for specific use cases to becoming a more general technology provider.

Elsewhere, Wan noted that R3 is exploring use cases that enable it to work closely with outside parties, such as central banks that may want to issue their own blockchain or DLT-powered digital currencies and trusted market data providers that would deliver data in these cryptographic environments.

Still, Wan also sought to shift the definition of the startup, which has recently found itself in the spotlight of late for key member departures and a long-running funding round that has continued for some time without a formal closure.

Notably, Wan did not describe Corda as a blockchain system, a comment that illustrates the increasing issues many in the industry have with the terminology.

Wan said:

“We found that we didn’t want a blockchain, we wanted to be blockchain inspired.”

Images via Construct 2017

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