New to Corda? Start here!

February 06, 2018

New to Corda? Start here!

Are you just hearing about Corda for the first time? Want to understand how Corda differs from other platforms and how its unique architecture is perfectly suited to address the real problems faced by today’s businesses?

Start here to get started with the only enterprise blockchain platform designed and built from the ground up to meet the needs of the world’s most demanding enterprises.

Who is this article for?

I’ve recently been overrun by new people, firms and partners seeking information on Corda. Some of this is organic. But a gratifying amount is from those who are in the process of migrating to Corda after first trying other enterprise blockchain platforms. They tell me that they find Corda’s carefully-designed architecture, emphasis on developer productivity, and passion for clear docs and pleasing user experience make all the difference.

As a result, I have found myself sending a lot of very similar “here’s where to start” emails in recent weeks so I thought I’d capture it all in one place, which I’ll update from time to time.

Whether you’re a developer, architect, business manager, analyst or just an interested observer, this article should help you learn what you need to know about Corda and get started with your project.

What is Corda?

Corda is an open-source enterprise blockchain platform that has been designed and built from the ground up to enable legal contracts and other shared data to be managed and synchronised between mutually untrusting organisations in any industry. Uniquely amongst enterprise blockchain platforms, Corda allows a diverse range of applications to interoperate on a single global network. Corda began as a platform for the financial services industry — which is why so many of our examples and documents talk about banking scenarios. But we’ve learned from engagements with customers that Corda is actually broadly applicable to every industry! So don’t be put off if your use-case is not related to money 🙂

The best place to start to understand what Corda is, why we built it and what makes it different is this introductory blog post I wrote when we first announced Corda.

“I’m a developer and just want to get started”

The best starting off point for a developer new to Corda is the introductory whitepaper. This paper outlines the vision and the key concepts, which are key to understanding how Corda differs to other platforms with which you may be familiar.

Once you’ve read that, the best thing to do is jump in and learn by doing. Get Corda installed and set up your environment. And then work through the intro tutorial.

There is a wealth of information linked from And the dev team is readily accessible on Slack and Stack Overflow.

And you can also join our weekly “office hours”, where you can ask our Dev Relations team anything you like…

Once you’re up and running, you should definitely then take the time to read the technical whitepaper, review the docsite (we take an immense amount of pride in ensuring this is helpful, comprehensive and correct… it really is worth reading it from top to bottom) and remember our APIs are fully documented. In both Java and Kotlin.

And you can sign up for training here.

“I understand some other Blockchain platforms and would like to understand how Corda compares.”

Start here to learn what Corda is and what makes it different and maybe also read the whitepaper. These are good ways to understand the problem we’re trying to solve and the philosophy underpinning our approach

And you may then find these posts useful:

This post is aimed at people who are familiar with platforms like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Why do platforms like Corda even exist?! What problem are we trying to solve?

If you’re familiar with Hyperledger Fabric, this post may be useful. It discusses the “channels” approach to privacy in Fabric and why the approach we’ve taken in Corda is different (and, in my unbiased view, of course, so much better!)

If you’re familiar with the various ongoing attempts to make Ethereum suitable for the enterprise, this post may be useful to you. It talks about how I believe the real opportunity is to rethink how Enterprise IT works — from the ground up — and how this requires a very specific design (ie Corda). The post compares and contrasts Corda with the Quorum platform to illustrate the points.

“Enough with the links already! I just need a simple mental model for how Corda works”

It an analogy based on letters, the postal service and two friends making a bet good enough? If so, here you go!