R3CEV, the startup behind the world's largest banking consortium focused on distributed ledger applications, has made the code for its Corda platform freely available.
The open-source release coincides with R3's contribution of the code to the Hyperledger project, the Linux Foundation-led blockchain effort first launched late last year. From here, the code goes to the Hyperledger group for formal acceptance.
Corda is envisioned as a permissioned distributed ledger enabling the management of legal agreements between financial institutions, with restrictions on which parties can see what types of information.
R3 has posted the codebase and other resources here.
The release perhaps caps a year of experimentation among the dozens of banks that compose the R3 consortium. Since January, groups of R3 banks have explored use cases in the areas of trade finance, digital identity and asset exchange. It also comes as R3 is raising funds from its membership, a process that has seen some of its members part ways with the group.
In a blog post published ahead of the release, R3 CTO Richard Gendal Brown explained that the release followed a debate within the company about at which stage the code for Corda should be published, writing:
"We've wholeheartedly chosen the latter path: to release early and to work openly."
Brown went on to express hope that the release would spur outside observers to dig into the code and unearth bugs, saying: "You will find gaps, issues, problems. But that’s fine: please do share what you find. Even better, submit a fix…!"
R3 is also publishing a draft of its Corda technical paper, with plans to release an update from developer Mike Hearn regarding the work set to be done on the code. The company said it also plans to develop a commercial version of Corda, as well as continue work on other products that will use the open-source platform as a basis.
At the same time, the Corda code will the join ranks of IBM’s Fabric, Intel’s Sawtooth Lake and other platform concepts accepted thus far to the Hyperledger project. According to Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf, the code release is part of the acceptance process, which he said "shouldn’t take that long".
Behlendorf described the Corda contribution as "just the first step", echoing Brown in expressing hope that other contributors would become involved. He also suggested that the concepts behind Corda might influence further work on other Hyperledger projects.
"That kind of sharing of DNA is something we think is a good idea and something we look forward to."
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