Marco Polo Initiative

PRESS RELEASE: Leading global banks together with TradeIX and R3 pilot blockchain trade finance solution

  • The blockchain initiative, Marco Polo is piloting Trade Finance solutions

“The initiative, called Marco Polo comprised of a group of the world’s leading banks, together with trade finance technology specialist TradeIX and enterprise software firm R3, are piloting their trade finance solution leveraging distributed ledger technology following a successful proof-of-concept.

Since launching in September 2017, with BNP, Commerzbank and ING as core banks, the initiative has attracted significant interest from the global banking community, with additional banks including Standard Chartered, DNB, and OP Financial Group joining in recent months.”

Read the rest of the press release here.

There is a Marco Polo website that you can find much more information on the initiative! Check it out here.

R3 launches Corda blockchain center of excellence to collaborate with law firms

10 law firms have joined, including Ashurst, Baker McKenzie, Clifford Chance, Crowell & Moring, Fasken, Holland & Knight, Perkins Coie, Shearman & Sterling, and Stroock.

February 20, 2018 (New York/London/Singapore) – Enterprise software firm R3 has launched the Legal Center of Excellence (LCoE) as a platform for the global legal community to get the latest updates and share best practices regarding blockchain technology and R3’s blockchain platform Corda.

Law firms are increasingly working with clients to provide specialist advice on how to handle the legal aspects of blockchain technology, such as structuring Corda business networks and drafting smart legal contracts. R3 has

developed the LCoE to collaborate with and gather feedback from the legal sector, helping law firms to better engage with the technology, while updating R3 on the specific needs of the legal community and their clients.

Members of the LCoE will actively collaborate with R3 and have access to R3’s research on blockchain that provides a view into the concerns of their clients, monthly project demos that give members a practical understanding of real world blockchain applications, as well as Corda training workshops that have specifically been developed for attorneys. This will ensure that law practioners have a strong understanding of the technology and are optimally equipped to advise their clients on new and emerging legal and regulatory issues associated with blockchain and Corda.

Corda is an open-source blockchain platform designed to record, manage and automate legal agreements between businesses. These agreements take the form of smart contracts on Corda, linking business logic and data to associated legal prose in order to ensure they are rooted firmly in law.

Richard Gendal Brown, CTO at R3, comments: “A key feature of Corda is its ability to record an explicit link between human-language legal prose documents and smart contract code. This enables agreements between businesses to be executed automatically with minimal need for human intervention. The LCoE will allow R3 to directly engage with the lawyers that will be advising on and helping draft the smart contracts used by the network of Corda users across the globe.”

Jason Rozovsky, Senior Counsel and Head of the LCoE at R3, comments: “Lawyers hold a key position in the financial services ecosystem. Many of our clients are also clients of the world’s leading law firms, a number of which have joined our Legal Center of Excellence. There is an overall benefit to our membership and the Corda community at large to collaborating with these firms about Corda and its capabilities early on, and to obtaining their valuable insights into the legal and regulatory environments in which Corda operates.”

About R3

R3 is an enterprise software firm working with a network of over 200 banks, financial institutions, regulators, trade associations, professional services firms and technology companies to develop on Corda, its blockchain platform designed specifically for businesses.

R3’s global team of over 140 professionals in nine countries is supported by over 2,000 technology, financial, and legal experts drawn from its global member base. R3 is backed by investment of USD 107 million from over 40 firms.

 

Corda is the outcome of over two years of intense research and development by R3 and its members and meets the highest standards of the banking industry, yet is applicable to any commercial scenario. It records, manages and executes institutions’ financial agreements in perfect synchrony with their peers, creating a world of frictionless commerce. Learn more at www.r3.com.

Press contact

R3:
Nick Warren/Nick Murray-Leslie Chatsworth Communications
+44 (0)207 440 9780
contact@chatsworthcommunications.com

Charley Cooper
R3
+1 929 329 1550
charley@r3.com

For membership inquiries
Cooper Schorr
R3
+1 646 854-2292
cooper.schorr@r3.com

Life in the Fast Chain

What is a State Object?

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A state object is a digital document that represents and completely captures all relevant information about an agreement shared between parties, including its existence, content and current state.

More broadly, states can be thought of as referring to a fact at a point in time (for example, a cash state or an identity state). In Corda, states usually represent an obligation between parties. For example, a state object could represent a $100 obligation issued by a bank, an interest rate swap, or a zero coupon bond. The Corda Vault maintains the current position of state objects upon which two firms have agreed upon. In Corda, a state object is intended to be shared only with those who have a legitimate reason to see it. 

A state object references (in the form of hashes) both the contract code and legal prose contained by an agreement). States are established and can only be changed by accepted transactions, which are governed by the rules of the contract code. Digitally signed transactions consume zero or more states and create zero or more new states (see UTXO model)*Some transactions dictate that a new state be created while other transactions cause current states to evolve into new states. Potential new states may be proposed by parties to an agreement, but a “consensus state” is only reached once all parties to the agreement achieve consensus.

*A state object is either current (considered a live obligation) or historic (considered no longer valid). Note that these terms are also sometimes referred to as unspent/unconsumed or spent/consumed.

What is Hashing?

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Hashing is a cryptographic technique that takes a piece of data and translates it into a unique “fingerprint” (or “bit-string”). The resulting value that is generated – a representative image of the original message – is referred to as a “digital fingerprint”, “message digest” or a “hash value”.

Different scenarios require different cryptographic techniques. For example, to ensure confidentiality, an encryption method is used that enables one to reconstruct an original message with the knowledge of the appropriate key*. A cryptographic hash, however, is used to allow for a quick comparison of large data sets and to verify that that data has not been altered.

While some encryption techniques – such as the confidentiality example above – are reversible, a cryptographic hash is a one-way function and therefore impossible to invert. So, even if someone knows the hash value of the data, he/she is unable to know the original message. Only the person who knows the original data can prove that the hash value was created from the original piece of data, thus ensuring that it has not been altered from its original form.

The only way to recreate the input (original) data from a hash function’s output is to try a large number of potential inputs to see if they produce a match. If two inputs result in the same output, then a collision** has occurred. While it ideally should be impossible to find two different messages whose hash values are similar, collision resistance doesn’t necessarily mean that no collisions exist, but rather that they are very difficult to find.

*Public/private key cryptography is an encryption method whereby one can encrypt data with the recipient’s public key and the recipient can then decrypt it using their private key (or vice versa, depending on the objective).

 **An example is a SHA-256 collision. A SHA-256 hash function produces 256 bits of output from a larger set of inputs. Thus, some inputs will necessarily hash to the same output. If a hacker finds a collision, he/she can use it to substitute an authorized message with an unauthorized one.