this note from superb jobenomics newsletter
blockchain technology provides a means for people to share reliable and tamper-proof lists of information known as distributed ledgers.
On 31 May 2016, a 31-member group launched the Financial Blockchain Shenzhen Consortium that will collaborate on the creation of group-wide blockchain projects focused on the development of a global securities trade platform and services for offering credit, digital asset registry and invoice management.
Financial Blockchain Shenzhen Consortium consists of Tencent, owners of WeChat that has more than
760 million users; Ping An Bank, one of China’s biggest government-owned financial conglomerates;
and 29 other notable Chinese and international finance and tech firms.
In July 2016, Alibaba’s Ant Financial and the Microfinance Management arm of China’s Foundation for
Poverty Alleviation concluded an agreement to jointly help lift people lift out of poverty with the aid of
the internet and blockchains to more than 300 national and provincial counties by 2020. Donors on
Alibaba’s “Ant Love” charity platform will be able to track transaction histories and gain a clearer
understanding of how their donations are used.35 36 37
35 Coindesk, Blockchain Startup Circle Raises $60 Million Amid China Expansion, 23 June 2016,
http://www.coindesk.com/circle-china-60million-series-d/, and 31 Chinese Firms Form Financial Blockchain Consortium,
24 June 2016, http://www.coindesk.com/financial-blockchain-shenzhen-consortium-launch/
36 Blockchain News, China’s Internet Behemoth Alibaba to Roll Out Blockchain Tech for Payments, 12 July 2016,
37 Circle, https://www.circle.com/en/about, and https://www.circle.com/en
Page 14 China’s Digital Economy Quest 18 October 2016
Unlike America’s digital giants, blockchain technology is being aggressively pursued by China network and financial technology (fintech) giants, such as Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba. These fintech pioneersalready have more clients and payments systems than the entire, predominantly government-owned, Chinese banking system, and are using NTR technology, systems and processes to create new Chinesedominated global banking system.
In June 2016, Baidu, China’s Google, invested $60 million in the U.S.-based Circle Internet Financial to expand in China using Circle’s proprietary bitcoin blockchain and artificial technology that allows
Chinese clients to access a highly-secured money transfer and payment network. Circle’s technology
allows customers to sign up via email or text, snap a picture of their debit card, credit card or bank
account to pay or get paid instantly at no charge without limits on how much they send, receive or cash out. Circle China has been created as an independent company with local investors to capitalize on China’s masses that are comfortable with social media payments and money transfer.
Implementation of blockchain technology in China will be much different from the Western approach
of employing blockchains from within the banking system. China intends to utilize fintech industries,
like those described above, to push technology into government-controlled institutions. To do so, the
Chinese government has instituted a half-way house, called the China Ledger Alliance (aka
ChinaLedger), which will be managed by a non-profit research institution (Wanxiang Blockchain Labs).
ChinaLedger is currently an alliance of a dozen regional commodity exchanges, equity exchanges and
financial asset exchanges with the aim of creating an open source blockchain protocol. Numerous
leading Western blockchain and network technology experts are participating as key members of
ChinaLedger’s “advisory” counsels. As reported by China Daily, the leading English-language news
organization in China, blockchain technology will be used in China's fledgling social security system that
currently has $285 billion under management (the United States Social Security Trust Fund is $2.8
trillion) but increasing at a rate of 25% per year.38
According to Citigroup, “financial-technology companies in China have passed a ‘tipping point’ in
disrupting the banking industry owing to their surging number of customers….Chinese fintech firms
have now gained considerable market share in e-commerce and third-party payments, and are faster
than lenders in offering alternatives to traditional banking services”. 39 According to The Wall Street
Journal, “the future of banking is in China”, namely with tech companies that “use internet payment
systems as a wedge into an array of money-management services”. 40
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