Contract catalogue

There are a number of contracts supplied with Corda, which cover both core functionality (such as cash on ledger) and provide examples of how to model complex contracts (such as interest rate swaps). There is also a Dummy contract. However it does not provide any meaningful functionality, and is intended purely for testing purposes.


The Cash contract’s state objects represent an amount of some issued currency, owned by some party. Any currency can be issued by any party, and it is up to the recipient to determine whether they trust the issuer. Generally nodes are expected to have criteria (such as a whitelist) that issuers must fulfil for cash they issue to be accepted.

Cash state objects implement the FungibleAsset interface, and can be used by the commercial paper and obligation contracts as part of settlement of an outstanding debt. The contracts’ verification functions require that cash state objects of the correct value are received by the beneficiary as part of the settlement transaction.

The cash contract supports issuing, moving and exiting (destroying) states. Note, however, that issuance cannot be part of the same transaction as other cash commands, in order to minimise complexity in balance verification.

Cash shares a common superclass, OnLedgerAsset, with the Commodity contract. This implements common behaviour of assets which can be issued, moved and exited on chain, with the subclasses handling asset-specific data types and behaviour.


Corda supports a pluggable cash selection algorithm by implementing the CashSelection interface. The default implementation uses an H2 specific query that can be overridden for different database providers. Please see CashSelectionH2Impl and its associated declaration in META-INF\services\


The Commodity contract is an early stage example of a non-currency contract whose states implement the FungibleAsset interface. This is used as a proof of concept for non-cash obligations.

Commercial paper

CommercialPaper is a very simple obligation to pay an amount of cash at some future point in time (the maturity date), and exists primarily as a simplified contract for use in tutorials. Commercial paper supports issuing, moving and redeeming (settling) states. Unlike the full obligation contract it does not support locking the state so it cannot be settled if the obligor defaults on payment, or netting of state objects. All commands are exclusive of the other commercial paper commands. Use the Obligation contract for more advanced functionality.

Interest rate swap

The Interest Rate Swap (IRS) contract is a bilateral contract to implement a vanilla fixed / floating same currency interest rate swap. In general, an IRS allows two counterparties to modify their exposure from changes in the underlying interest rate. They are often used as a hedging instrument, convert a fixed rate loan to a floating rate loan, vice versa etc.

See “Interest rate swaps” for full details on the IRS contract.


The obligation contract’s state objects represent an obligation to provide some asset, which would generally be a cash state object, but can be any contract state object fulfilling the FungibleAsset interface, including other obligations. The obligation contract uses objects referred to as Terms to group commands and state objects together. Terms are a subset of an obligation state object, including details of what should be paid, when, and to whom.

Obligation state objects can be issued, moved and exited as with any fungible asset. The contract also supports state object netting and lifecycle changes (marking the obligation that a state object represents as having defaulted, or reverting it to the normal state after marking as having defaulted). The Net command cannot be included with any other obligation commands in the same transaction, as it applies to state objects with different beneficiaries, and as such applies across multiple terms.

All other obligation contract commands specify obligation terms (what is to be delivered, by whom and by when) which are used as a grouping key for input/output states and commands. Issuance and lifecycle commands are mutually exclusive of other commands (move/exit) which apply to the same obligation terms, but multiple commands can be present in a single transaction if they apply to different terms. For example, a contract can have two different Issue commands as long as they apply to different terms, but could not have an Issue and a Net, or an Issue and Move that apply to the same terms.

Netting of obligations supports close-out netting (which can be triggered by either obligor or beneficiary, but is limited to bilateral netting), and payment netting (which requires signatures from all involved parties, but supports multilateral netting).