R3 Sets Out Time Frame For Corda 1.0 Official Release

Blockchain development consortium R3 has announced a time frame for its first official production release of the Corda platform, Corda 1.0.

The group, which is made up of over 100 different companies from across the banking, regulatory and tech sectors, was scant on details, only suggesting that its first release would be made available “soon.”

Over two years in the development process, the platform is expected to be opened up to live transactions for the first time by the end of 2017, marking a significant milestone in the consortium’s efforts to develop a protocol for blockchain development.

Originally launched in beta back in 2016, the protocol has already been used in the development of a number of proofs-of-concept and initial trials, including as part of a collaboration with Mizuho Group, which saw letters of credit being facilitated digitally via the blockchain.

The group’s product lead, Mike Ward, said a decision was made at this month’s engineering call to release the first official version of the platform, and developers are already becoming excited about the potential for the technology in the future.

“A lot of what I think the engineers are excited to talk about is what happens post-1.0. What are the things that are on the horizon long term,” said Ward, sounding an upbeat note about the post-release period.

Given the current structure of the R3 platforms, developers are faced with the constant headache of updating test models and initial developments with every incremental upgrade to the platform — a factor R3 has acknowledged as limiting the potential for development on their protocol to date.

However, once Corda 1.0 is officially released, the platform is expected to be much more stable, allowing enterprise-grade developments to be built without concern about future changes in the underlying infrastructure.

The launch is expected to prompt a flurry of further development activity, with Ward acknowledging this will provide a “firm foundation to go build on.”

R3 now has its eyes on increasing collaboration and integration with other systems, including platforms in development with IBM and Microsoft, via their Azure protocol. Additionally, the group is working with software analytics firm Tibco to allow closer integrations between local and cloud storage, which would essentially provide a wider array of technological options for developers on its release.

“We’ll provide you with a variety of choices, but which one you choose should be based just on the discussions that we all love to have in user groups, around the notions of the algorithms — have they actually been used, have they been field-tested?”