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How R3 is tackling challenges of supply chain finance

The Paypers, a Netherlands-based publication providing news for the global payment community, today launched its B2B Fintech: Payments, Supply Chain Finance & E-invoicing Guide 2018, which brings together content from payments, supply chain and e-invoicing professionals and experts. One of the experts interviewed for the guide is Charley Cooper, managing director of R3, developer of the blockchain-based platform Corda. He discusses how R3 took a fresh approach to building a blockchain platform tailored to the needs of financial institutions and its progress in developing a system to improve supply chain finance. Here are some of the takeaways from the interview:

  • One of the biggest challenges facing distributed ledger technology businesses is “companies that don’t understand that public blockchain tech is different to enterprise blockchain tech and vice versa”, says Cooper. He explains that there are concerning cases of platforms being developed for business usage that simply modify the public Ethereum platform or use it as a template. He adds: “While perhaps superficially appealing, the design of these platforms appears to be fundamentally at odds with the needs of the companies whose demands they claim to solve.”
  • Following some successful piloting, 2018 should see the commercial launch of a blockchain-based supply chain finance app built on Corda by R3's partner TradeIX. The app, for post-shipment trade financing, enables “end-to end, real-time, seamless connectivity between trade participants, eliminating the data silos which prevent free flow of information causing inefficiencies and discrepancies”, says Cooper.
  • R3 includes Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Intel and Hewlett Packard Enterprise among its partner companies. The company also uses what it calls a 'ground-breaking' approach to data privacy and security in the blockchain space. Cooper explains: “Corda only sends data to those who have a 'need to know'. This unique feature of Corda emerged from the requirements of financial institutions which need to ensure the confidentiality of trades and agreements while also capturing the benefits of a shared distributed ledger infrastructure.”
  • We can expect to hear more from R3 later this year. Cooper says: “We’re currently focused on working with our partners to use Corda to address specific challenges faced by businesses. The solutions to these challenges are the CorDapps our partners are building, and a number of these will be ready for commercial deployment later in 2018.”

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