Corda Network highlights interoperability challenges for enterprise blockchain consortia

Highlights
  • The Corda Network enables blockchain interoperability between consortia
  • Corda’s Firewall enforces modern security inspired by Google
  • But enterprises seem to want older perimeter-style security
  • Consortia are implementing workarounds to provide the perimeter security
  • Currently Corda Network’s governance is dominated by European companies

A hot topic in enterprise blockchain is interoperability between consortia. One example is insurance and trade finance consortia which need to interact both with each other as well as the trade networks where they provide services. As these networks interoperate, they start to resemble semi-public blockchain networks, with a layer of Know Your Customer (KYC) at the entrance.

While this level of integration offers enormous opportunity, we found there are challenges relating to security and governance. We spoke to the CTOs of three major consortia, HQLAX, the Letter of Credit Blockchain, and RiskStream. There’s an area where we found enterprise security teams are resistant to the modern solutions offered by R3’s enterprise blockchain Corda.

For those unfamiliar with the consortia, HQLAX has a joint venture with Deutsche Börse for collateral optimization. The Letter of Credit blockchain (formerly named Voltron) has eight global bank members including HSBC and Standard Chartered. And RiskStream (formerly RiskBlock) has almost 50 major insurer participants.

The blockchain interoperability vision

Richard Gendal Brown, the CTO of R3, had a vision from the start for the consortia to interoperate through the Corda Network, a network of permissioned networks. There’s a proviso that each network uses the Corda distributed ledger technology (DLT).

James Carlyle, R3’s Chief Information Officer, compares the Corda Network to the internet. Soon he expects its existence to fade into the background much like we take the internet for granted. We agree. Despite the issues explored, it’s worth recognizing that these…

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