Software company R3, together with a consortium of a large number of banks, has released version 1.0 of Corda. R3 itself describes it as a “distributed ledger system” for financial institutions, which is different from a blockchain.
According to the organization, the open source software Corda is suitable for creating and managing contracts between trading partners. It can also be used to share other data. The system should make communication between different institutions faster and cheaper. The main innovation in the current version is that future changes should not have a major impact on the stability of the api. The project has been in the works for two years now.
A white paper describes that Corda is not a blockchain, although it is inspired by it. The system also does not use miners to validate transactions. Instead, Corda uses notaries, which are made up of different parties that do not trust each other and use a consensus algorithm. In the document, a Corda network is compared to e-mail, because different nodes have a persistent identity. Nodes consist of different Java Virtual Machines and never have full access to the central ledger.
Recently, Microsoft announced its own open source framework for a variety of blockchain applications. This is called Coco and supports Corda, in addition to, for example, Ethereum.