As one of the largest and earliest blockchain alliances in the world, R3 has been an important player in the development of the alliance blockchain. More than 300 companies and institutions from global banking giants have become members of the alliance. Tom Menner, Director of Solution Architecture for R3 Asia Pacific, recently appeared at the 2019 Singapore WBF Conference and accepted an interview with Babbitt. Just as R3's members come from countries and regions around the world, R3 also puts its strategic layout on the world. In an interview, Menner introduced R3's business in the Asia Pacific region and the status of blockchain business expansion in various countries and regions. In addition, he also talked about R3's main competitor, Hyperledger. As the core product of R3, what is the difference between the Corda platform and the superbook book Fabric? Menner answered in this interview. In addition, for the Brazilian cryptocurrency Libra will become a threat to R3, Menner also gave his own opinion.
The following is the content of the interview (slightly deleted):
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1. Please introduce yourself? Why did you leave IBM and join R3?
My name is Tom Menner and I am currently the Director of Solution Architecture for R3 Asia Pacific. I worked at IBM for 22 years and left in 2016. Fortunately, I participated in IBM's blockchain business before leaving. I then contacted R3 and they started recruiting me to join R3. At that time, I also had a conversation with the superbook and Huawei, but in the end R3 gave me an offer.
2. What kind of work do you do in your team?
I mainly promote R3's technology, meet with customers, understand what they want to do, blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) is suitable for them, they can do something with Corda, should he do something? PoC or trial project. I am responsible for the design and architecture of the solutions we provide.
3. What blockchain solutions are currently available from R3?
We started designing Corda mainly for financial scenarios, but developed to create solutions based on specific needs, especially privacy, ease of use, legal design, and then other industries like this design very much, now we are not only focused on banks, Capital markets such as financial scenarios, we currently have some customers in various industries, among which insurance, trade finance, energy, medical and other fields are important. Now we have entered the field of digital assets, such as tokens, coins, etc. It is not used for ICO financing, but for equity transfer, financial assets, etc.
4. What kind of layout does R3 currently have in the Asia Pacific region?
When I first joined R3 in New York, I was responsible for the North American business and now I am responsible for the Asia Pacific region. The customers and even the use cases in these two regions are different. Even in different countries in Asia, the demand for business is different. For example, Thailand is eager to change their banking financial business, and Singapore is very mature in this respect. This direction is not very interesting, Singapore's use cases are more efficient, or open up new digital markets. Thailand is more focused on improving its old banking services for 20, 30 and 40 years, similar to Vietnam. In Japan and South Korea, they are more interested in digital assets and in the supply chain. So each country's interest points are different. Even China's mainland and Hong Kong have different points of interest in the blockchain. Hong Kong is more interested in global trade, and the mainland seems to be more interested in the supply chain.
5. Which countries and regions in Asia have R3 covered so far?
R3's Asia Pacific headquarters is currently in Singapore, with offices in India, Hong Kong, Japan, and Australia. It is currently recruiting people in mainland China and has some in Taipei, China. We are considering investing some people in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
6. Is Corda a blockchain or a decentralized database?
Technically, Corda is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) that does not generate blocks or a single chain, unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum. All users can have their own books, we use blockchain technology or design, add data to the ledger, there is no global blockchain, technically belongs to DLT, mainly for privacy reasons, if you and I trade between them, so other people can't see these transactions, they won't receive a copy of the ledger, and they won't store the records on their nodes.
7.Corda's operating efficiency, what is TPS?
Corda's design model advantage, in addition to privacy, does not require mining, does not require cryptocurrency, and does not require gas. Corda doesn't need a lot of energy, and the design is very simple, which makes it easy to expand. The US Financial Clearing House has performed performance tests on various major blockchains. Corda and Digtial Assets can be extended to 6000 TPS in 5-6 hours. The other two projects, Fabric and Quorum, collapsed directly.
Blockchain Alliance Scramble: Superbook vs. R3
8. At present, there are many blockchain alliances in the blockchain industry, such as Hyperledger, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), etc. How does R3 compete and cooperate with them?
First, R3 is also a member of the superbook, but we have not yet decided to make the R3 Corda platform part of the superbook. We work with some super-book projects, not just Hyperledger Fabric, but HyperLedger Indy to do some PoC work together. For the EEA, we actually did not work on Ethereum. There are many differences between R3 and EEA models, such as protocol models, data models, and so on. Ethereum is open and does not require permission, which is very different from ours. We have some projects created on Ethereum, such as creating ERC20 tokens on Ethereum, then you can map these tokens to the Corda platform, so we also want to transfer these tokens between wallets, then The stage is on Corda. We have already studied this. In addition, you can also transfer the coins on the Ethereum to Corda by hooking them, and finally return to Ethereum for settlement. However, R3 is not currently an EEA member, but there may be changes in cooperation in the future.
9. The difference between Fabric and Corda
Corda has some advantages in design. For Fabric, it is essentially the same design as Ethereum, which removes ETH and gas. IBM's design is more focused on sharing data on the web, while Corda pays more attention to privacy and does not share network data, but can do online transactions. Fabric later said that it wanted to add privacy by adding channels, and Fabric was not designed for this. Fabric continues to add something similar to Corda, and they seem to be starting to copy Corda. Fabric is popular because of its long history and support from IBM and Hyperledger. I think Fabric is an option for general use, but if you need to share global data, such as KYC information, all banks and insurance companies around the world get the data and see the same information, then this is fine, but if To focus on privacy, Corda's design is relatively better.
Will Libra become a threat to the R3 banking solution business?
10. Facebook's cryptocurrency Libra, what do you think?
I think a lot of people agree that Libra will bring benefits to the whole industry, and we think so. Libra has made blockchain and cryptocurrency more visible, and people are starting to think more. I think we are moving away from discussing the blockchain and moving on to discussing blockchain-based applications and solutions. I don't care about blockchain. In a sense, I don't care about Corda or Libra, but care about it as a payment. The system, or insurance system, and so on, don't even care if it is based on a blockchain. So I think Libra has made this idea a step further. Is Libra a blockchain or cryptocurrency? Some people complain that Libra is not a blockchain. Who cares? As long as it makes the payment simpler, it doesn't matter whether it uses blockchain or DLT. Whether Libra can succeed is another problem, which will be determined by the market.
11. Libra seems to be subverting the bank. R3 wants to provide a solution for the bank, so what impact does Libra's presence have on R3?
Libra focuses on the consumer, payment field. Corda is B2B and doesn't focus on consumers. For example, someone asked me if I could replace the Visa card with Corda. NO, you can swipe the card directly, and the speed is very fast. Corda is not designed to replace Visa. On the other hand, a bank has to settle with another bank, real-time liquidation, etc., or a bank holds funds from another bank. This area has nothing to do with Libra. It has nothing to do with consumer banks. This is just a bank-to-bank. Business settlement, this is exactly the focus of Corda. We don't think Libra is a big threat to Corda, because Libra is focused on consumer payments, and we focus on B2B applications, so Libra doesn't touch our business. However, in a sense, the cooperation with Libra makes sense. If a bank allows Libra to pay, it may need to settle with other banks. At this time, it may be settled with Corda and then used by Libra. Consumer-oriented payments.
12. Libra has been criticized for Facebook's privacy issues, how does Corda solve privacy issues?
The core of Corda is privacy. When we trade through Corda, the banks of both of us and us will not participate in the transaction. All the banks on the network will not participate in the transaction. They will not receive a copy of the transaction record. Only the parties to the transaction will know the transaction record. Only we can decide Let other parties see these transactions.
13. What would you do if you let R3 do business in China?
In fact, we have tried to do business in China for some time. First we will recruit people in China. We already have offices in Hong Kong and recruit people in Beijing and Shanghai. R3's Asia Pacific executives are currently based in Taipei. We have a very specific business development plan in China, and I think it will be launched in the form of a partner network. For example, we already have some partners in Hong Kong, for example, PCCW (PCCW). In fact, we are discussing with Huawei, they want to put Corda on the Huawei cloud, but they are also using Hyperledger, Huawei has its own strategic plan. We are also in contact with a number of regulatory agencies in Beijing, as well as some members of the R3 Bank of China. We are looking for the first use case, which may be in the areas of insurance, digital assets, supply chain, etc. We are focusing on the Chinese market.