China’s Internet Behemoth Alibaba to Roll Out Blockchain Tech for Payments

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In an exclusive report by Andrew Quentson at Coin Journal – Ant Financial, the online payments affiliate of Alibaba and the world’s second most valuable private technology company with a market cap of more than $60 billion, have announced they are rolling out Blockchain technology for payments.

The technology will be first applied to Alipay’s donation platform to improve transparency and provide a trust mechanism with each payment and spending of donations recorded on the Blockchain.

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Quentson reports:

Ant Financial and the Microfinance Management arm of China’s Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA), China’s largest and most influential non-governmental organization that specializes in poverty alleviation, have reached a strategic co-operation agreement to expand a model that takes targeted measures to help people lift themselves out of poverty with the aid of the internet and now blockchain tech to more than 300 national and provincial counties within three years.

Unlike America’s internet giants of Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook, the Chinese equivalent have begun exploring and investing in blockchain technology. Baidu, China’s google, invested in Circle, one of the biggest bitcoin companies. Tencent, owners of Wechat, joined a financial blockchain consortium with 30 other finance and tech firms and Ping An Bank, one of China’s financial conglomerates, joined R3.

China’s banking infrastructure is not as developed as in the west. Some are therefore speculating that blockchain tech and the internet may allow the country to leapfrog the banking system just as cell phones allowed developing nations to leapfrog phone lines.

According to a Citigroup report, fintech companies in China have passed the tipping point, with more customers, some 450 million a month, using Ant Financial’s Alipay and other fintech apps than traditional banks. They also tend to be more innovative in payments as WeChat’s 760 million users send 36 billion “red packets,” a lottery like changetip, but with yuan, with more than eight billion red envelopes sent in just one day on the Chinese new year.

Blockchain technology, therefore, may find readier adoption in the world’s second biggest economy as shown by its dominance in bitcoin trading and mining. Wanxiang, one of China’s richest companies, has strongly backed this new invention, funding Wanxiang Blockchain Labs which is to hold Shanghai’s Secong Global Blockchain Conference in September as well as creating a new VC fund focusing on blockchain investments.

Earlier this year, Ant Financial closed the world’s largest private fundraising round for an Internet company with a $4.5 billion raise.

 

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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