The adoption of blockchain technology to rewire the way the world does business is now an inevitability. This year will be remembered as the year enterprise blockchain technology came of age. While the timing for adoption will depend on the market and sector, the trajectory is clear.
We’re in Sydney for SIBOS 2018 and to spend time with our partners here who are backing R3 and actively building on our blockchain platform Corda.
R3’s ambition is truly global. We have built a blockchain for enterprise in addition to an open source version and have a dedicated team working to support Corda adoption in the region.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corp are members and contributors to our work.
Westpac has been working with us on a ground-breaking project that deploys not one but four disruptive technologies – the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics and blockchain – in order to complete a fully automated trade.
The product in was 20mm steel coil used to create steel reinforcement structures for construction projects, vital in the construction industry.
A purchase system based on R3 Corda blockchain technology managed the complete purchase flow, from ordering, through to invoicing and payment, allowing an end-to-end paperless transaction that was able to validate information, flag any inconsistencies, increase processing speed and efficiency, and radically reduce errors.
Businesses of all sizes across the world, in sectors as diverse as financial services, healthcare and logistics, are now actively using blockchain in live deployment as you read these words.
The speed and scale of blockchain adoption has been remarkable. The level of interest, airtime and pace of growth it has experienced is usually reserved for primetime consumer-facing technologies and platforms such as the iPhone or Instagram.
The history of enterprise technology has shown it can be as game-changing as consumer technology in the long run, but more often than not it remains behind the scenes and adoption rates are far more conservative.
This is not the case for blockchain. Deloitte’s survey of 1,000 companies across seven countries found that 34 per cent already had a blockchain system in production today, with another 41 per cent expected to deploy a blockchain application within the next 12 months. Nearly 40 per cent of the surveyed companies reported they would invest US$5 million or more in blockchain in the coming year.
The potential for this technology to improve the efficiency, transparency, speed and security of the way money and goods flow around the globe is vast and virtually unparalleled, but it was clear from the outset to R3 and the thousands of coders, business leaders and cross-industry professionals that make up our ecosystem.
We are immensely proud to have played a role in the enterprise blockchain revolution since day one, and to have delivered the vision we’ve shared with our ecosystem from the beginning: to build a robust, new blockchain-based system that enhances the way global business is conducted.
We are now seeing widespread community adoption of Corda, our open source blockchain platform, and its enterprise version for commercial distribution.
The open source version of Corda is designed for production from the very start. Companies with a relatively simple IT structure and network can go live on it today.
Corda Enterprise offers a range of additional features that make it the most resilient, secure and efficient enterprise blockchain platform available, including the a Blockchain Application Firewall, so it can be deployed inside corporate data centres, while retaining the ability to communicate securely with other nodes anywhere else in the world. This is a critical feature requested directly by institutions with complex IT infrastructures.
With the choice between Corda and Corda Enterprise, a wider range of institutions can now realise the full potential of blockchain regardless of their industry, size, budget and stage of development.
R3’s Marketplace provides a directory of over 200 organisations focused on harnessing the power of Corda, and helps firms to discover, build and deploy solutions on our platform.
At launch, Marketplace had over 50 applications solving specific problems across several industries, including trading precious metals, streamlining property valuation, trading high quality liquid assets more efficiently, self-sovereign identity and much more.
When we started this journey three years ago to take the potential of blockchain technology and apply its benefits to real business, we knew there would be challenges ahead. Then, and to a lesser extent now, the industry’s imagination was captured by public blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
We chose a different path, and the tough choices we made around critical issues such as privacy, security, scalability, integration and others led us to design Corda by taking the best of early blockchain technology and improving upon it to suit the needs of global business.
And the dividends are paying off. Corda is now seen as the blockchain platform that gets the job done. The right model and the right technology, built collaboratively by the right people. This is blockchain machine-tooled for business.
As more institutions put their resources behind blockchain technology, the network effect will continue to grow and businesses across the globe will become connected in a more streamlined, secure and efficient manner than ever before. Corda is now firmly rooted at the heart of this process. Our work has only just begun.
David E. Rutter is CEO and founder of R3
Eliot Hastie is a journalist on the wealth titles at Momentum Media.
Eliot joined the team in 2018 having previously written on Real Estate Business with Momentum Media as well.
Eliot graduated from the University of Westminster, UK with a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism).