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Looking to Make Blockchain Their Own
The Australian economy seems primed to experience a blockchain revolution before all its peers can catch up. While the country’s government is integrating the innovation to many administrative infrastructures, private companies and startups are catching onto the bandwagon with comparable intentions.
Last week, blockchain firms including Labrys, Beam, and AgriDigital visited China on an official budget organized by Austrade and the Australian Digital Commerce Association. The entrepreneurs met with billion-dollar Chinese corporations such as Alibaba-backed Ant Financial and government officials, proving the visits were more than mere exploration.
Ant Financial’s prowess in fintech sectors is unmatched. The company oversees 520 million users on its mobile and online payments platform and recently announced devoting a part of its 14 billion USD fundraise to researching blockchain technology and developing related applications.
The company is swift in its developments as well. June 2018 saw an Ant Financial-backed blockchain remittance system that conducted a million dollar cross-border transaction between Hong Kong and the Philippines in just three seconds, as reported by Reuters at the time.
Meanwhile, the Australian group is scheduled to attend the Wangxiang 4th Global Blockchain Summit on September 11 and September 12.
Australian Startups Await “Mind-Blowing” Experience
A visiting delegate informed media outlets of a “mind-blowing experience” for the Australian startups, citing China’s push to be a global superpower and lead the fields of big data, the blockchain, AI, and Internet-of-Things.
The move comes despite China’s much-publicized crackdown on cryptocurrencies and related business. In recent times, the country has moved to shut down crypto-events in major cities and even convinced private sector corporations to conduct internal checks on cryptocurrency groups.
The Far Eastern giant continues to invest in blockchain technology and distributed systems, creating a somewhat confusing stance for outside observers. While cryptographic peer-to-peer transfers and digitized tokens face the government’s wrath, China has turned to blockchain for building trade finance systems, microloans processors, tax accounting embodiments, and even tracking convicts on parole.
The country has even invested over $4 billion in building a blockchain park in Huangzhou, as part of its ambitious “Fourth Industrial Revolution” plan focusing on blockchain technology and other big data disruptions.
Some reports suggest China could be exploring a central bank-issued digital currency, extending its high government control over economic and financial developments by creating a native cryptocurrency.
China’s Secret Blockchain Push
Apart from fintech applications of blockchain technology, Chinese lawmakers are getting on board too. The country’s first internet-settlement court recently ruled blockchain as a permissible means of legal evidence in a case last week.
Alibaba – a Chinese tech giant valued at $402 billion – holds an estimated 90 blockchain-based applications, reported IP trade tracker iPR Daily. Investment house Tencent and financial services provider Ping Ah Insurance are also reportedly filing blockchain patents for their respective businesses.
Recently, messaging platform WeChat piloted a Tencent-owned blockchain system to speed up employee reimbursements for corporate purposes. Similarly, e-commerce giant JD.com has launched a “blockchain-as-a-service” mechanism to track corporate expenditures.
With the points as mentioned earlier, it comes as no surprise that Australian companies have chosen China over other nations to understand blockchain technology and conduct business visits. The latter’s blockchain developments remain relatively obscure in international media reports, but scratch under the surface and the extent of China’s trust with blockchain technology is far more substantial than one can initially fathom.