Corda business network simplified

Corda hits the sweet spot for financial sector-focused DLT use cases. SettleMint’s low-code platform empowers anyone to create & deploy business networks and build & deploy Corda applications, faster than ever. There’s no time wasted understanding how the technology works and how to setup your application & business network. You just need to know what you want, and the platform will handle how do to it.

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What is Corda?

Sometimes called “The blockchain that doesn’t use blockchain,” Corda is a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) solution that seeks a compromise between decentralization and meeting corporate needs. Thanks to Corda’s structure and features, the compromise is effective for certain enterprise-focused use cases. As Corda was conceived and developed with the specific needs of the financial sector in mind, when it comes to financial services use cases in particular, Corda can often be setup to perform better than Ethereum-based solutions, including Ethereum Enterprise and Hyperledger.

Keep your eye on the prize: “What’s this stuff good for anyway?”

“Decentralization” in our context is the method for enabling coordination between and within organizations, but it must be balanced with the needs of corporations to manage privacy, comply to regulation, and protect competitive interests. By coordination we mean the secure, accurate, and timely sharing of information central to business activities like invoices, purchase orders, supply chain data, loan data, and so on. If new levels of coordination can be unlocked, the potential is to streamline complex processes, reduce operational expenses, gain competitive advantages, and capture new markets.

Blockchain-based systems are an effective way to enable coordination by decentralizing the ledger that tracks information flow but, due to the inherent openness of their structure, it can be challenging to build blockchain-based business networks that effectively manage privacy, comply to regulation, and protect competitive interests in the enterprise environment.


Corda: “Decentralized enough”

All methods of decentralization involve trade-offs to a certain degree. Corda’s design and structure are such that business networks are “decentralized enough” to improve coordination but not so decentralized that the needs of corporate entities are overlooked.

For example, consider the need of organisations to maintain legal compliance wherever they operate. Corda accommodates this by placing emphasis on legality over code. The protocol thus allows legal prose to be attached to contracts such that, in the event of a dispute, there are explicitly stated rules governing the evolution of the ledger. This is in stark contrast to the “code is law,” (nothing-can-be-reversed) paradigm of public blockchains like Ethereum.

Corda in the wild: What it’s good for and how it’s being used

Corda is currently being used with success for a variety of the most complex applications in financial services. These include syndicated lending, securities lending, and cross-border trade finance.

In closed-loop supply chains, for example, there are sensitive elements such as pricing and sourcing. This means participants need to be able to control who sees what information. In Corda, interactions are not “global” by default, meaning participants must pre-select who can see each transaction. This makes it easier to ensure privacy of sensitive information, making Corda ideally suited for use cases like procure-to-pay and supply-chain financing.

In the syndicated loans industry, as another example, participants consist of investment banks making complex transactions that entail costly reconciliation procedures. Tools built on Corda expose real-time credit agreements, accrual balances, position information, and detailed transaction data to lenders directly from agent bank loan servicing platforms - and they do it with robust enough security and privacy to warrant adoption by leading global banks like NatWest, Natixis, BNP Paribas, HSBC and ING.

How the SettleMint platform simplifies your Corda business network development and deployment

Only a few organizations are sophisticated enough to use their inhouse talent to develop & deploy a Corda network and integrate CorDapps from start to finish. For the rest, deploying Corda solutions has, until now, been an expensive proposition involving close coordination with highly-paid Corda specialists. Knowledge in the Corda basics, proficiency with Java or Kotlin, and understanding how to deploy your network in the environment you want, are all required in order to build you Corda application. Luckily, SettleMint instantly turns any developer into an expert blockchain developer.

All you need to build and deploy your application and business network is in the platform. This includes:

  • Creating your node and establishing your consortium network
  • Managing your consortium and inviting members
  • Creating your CorDapp (IDE and templates included!)
  • Deploying your CorDapp to your node
  • Distributing your CorDapp to other nodes
  • Integrating with external systems.

Creating your node and establishing your consortium network

The SettleMint platform guides you through creation of your node and establishment of your consortium network. No blockchain development skills needed!

SettleMint Corda network

Managing your consortium and inviting members

Remember, DLT-solutions are designed for improving coordination between multiple and disparate entities. Members you invite to your consortium will have the option to deploy their own node in your Corda network, thereby enabling you to interact with them towards the goal of improved coordination.

When your consortium is created and nodes deployed, you will have full control of your network via the platform’s dashboard. The platform integrates a powerful dashboard showing network utilization and other important ledger information. This makes it easy to ensure your network is optimized for your specific use cases.  With the SettleMint platform, everyone gets a clear view of the nodes, clusters, and entire network without the need for code logs and code manipulation of any kind. Everything you need to know to monitor and understand your network is right there in the Dashboard. Of course, if you want to have more dev/code details, all logs and technical details of your network are also provided and easily accessible.

Another feature the platform provides is the capacity to invite members to your consortium. This is done with just a few clicks. Again: no blockchain developer skills needed.

Creating your CorDapp

A CorDapp (Corda Decentralized Application) defines how the network participants will interact with each other and delineates all the logical components of the use case. For example, a typical CorDapp will define how an asset is exchanged between network participants and layout the rules for the exchange. SettleMint provides you with different services that will accelerate your CorDapp creation.

Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
Before you can build your CorDapp, there are a number of complex and time-consuming modifications that must be made to your system. For example, in addition to a java compiler and a text editor, you need to optimize your system for Corda configuration. SettleMint’s IDE simplifies that process dramatically. By providing a pre-configured visual studio environment, integrated right there in your browser and accessible via a simple URL, you’ll be able to immediately focus on building your CorDapp. Stay out of the weeds!

Comprehensive CorDapp templates
SettleMint has analysed the use cases that are best suited to Corda. We’ve developed templates and corresponding tutorials for how to build the CorDapps to enable those use cases. These templates act as the foundation for your unique use case and provide inspiration for what’s possible. Fully customizing for your application and building something truly visionary, then, is a simple matter of tweaking the parameters.

Deploying your CorDapp

Deploying a CorDapp involves complex procedures that include coordination with nodes and internal system processes. With our powerful IDE, SettleMint removes all that complexity. This means that, once your CorDapp is built, deploying it is as simple as pressing a single “Deploy” button. You will not have to figure out for yourself the steps needed to upload a CorDapp to your nodes, nor will you have to manually perform these steps. For example, restarting your node to make sure the CorDapp was well installed is a process that will be handled automatically by the platform.

Distributing your CorDapp

The SettleMint platform drastically simplifies the notoriously complex procedure of distributing CorDapps. Indeed, the complexity coming from the fact that each participant needs to have technical skills to upload the CorDapp in their node is removed thanks to the platform. Distributing a CorDapp is thus as simple as selecting your CorDapp and choosing who you want to send it to.

Find here more info on SettleMint’s CorDapp distribution features.

Integrating with external systems

No matter how good your CorDapp is, if you can’t properly integrate it with external systems, you’ll never truly benefit from the advantages brought by Corda’s DLT solution. Each CorDapp can be accessed by invocating flows. To invocate a flow to your node, you should be able to connect the ROC endpoint of the node to your external system. This connection is not always easy to do. To guarantee accessibility of the network from outside of the SettleMint platform, we’ve included the Node-RED Integration Studio directly in your environment. This well documented tool with over 100 plugins ensures that any type of integration (connecting the external world to your blockchain) will be not only feasible, but also quick and straightforward. All flows of all CorDapps will be directly accessible via this Integration studio, allowing you to perform all the actions you want.

 

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Corda: the blockchain that doesn't use blockchain

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