E-commerce Leader Alibaba Leaping Towards Blockchain

China’s leading E-commerce business, Alibaba, has been notably present in the world of Blockchain technology for the past couple of years, may it be to announce yet another blockchain patent, a subsidiary incorporating blockchain tech or being active in the “blockchain, not bitcoin” movement that has been present in the air for quite some time. Whilst taking a look at Alibaba’s recent contributions to food, supply chain, health and public investment industries, it is safe to say that Alibaba is currently on the move to leave a footprint in blockchain technology.

Alibaba and the faithful subsidiaries

As China’s leading giant, Alibaba ensures a clear synchronization of values reflected among all of its subsidiaries. Evidently, recent events prior to Q2 of 2018 are reflective of Alibaba’s blockchain related decisions. In fact, the trend is easy to spot.

Most recently, Alibaba along with affiliate Ant Financial, confirmed the approval of a remittance service that uses blockchain technology to create ease for cross border transfer of funds.

In March of this year, T-Mall was announced as another e-commerce platform owned by Alibaba Group Holding Limited which could possibly include blockchain technology for its cross border chain. Certainly not the first of its kind, last year Alibaba introduced a system hoping to mitigate food fraud using blockchain tech, collaborating with PwC to bring about a new medium for food supply chain.

The medical sector was not left undone by Alibaba. Teaming up with Chinese authorities, Alibaba patented to release an application dedicated to maintain data using blockchain. Director at Zhenglu Town Health Center in Changzhou, Zhang Zhigong told local news resource Yicai Global:

It is cost effective and safe. With Blockchain, health centers and district hospitals are interconnected so that the people can enjoy convenient medical services.

Why not bitcoin?

Paradoxically, Alibaba has been actively pessimistic towards, both, cryptocurrencies in general and bitcoin in particular. For Jack Ma, CEO and founder of Alibaba, bitcoin is “a bubble” that need not be globalized over its over the top implications. In fact, Jack Ma said in an event in Hong Kong:

Technology itself isn’t the bubble, but bitcoin likely is. It is not right to become rich overnight by betting on blockchain.

He further reflected ignorance towards bitcoin’s dominance as a cryptocurrency and its workings.

We should be cautious about bitcoin. Its underlying technology, however, is really powerful. I pay more attention to a cashless society and the blockchain technology. And I am not shameful that I don’t know about bitcoin.

Despite his reservations, Jack Ma reiterated that Blockchain technology is great and could change our world more than what people would imagine.

Alibaba has recently left hints that seem to point to one conclusion in particular: a breakthrough. As a leader in e-commerce, Alibaba has the potential to break the norm in China and elsewhere, to bring about blockchain tech that is easy to follow through but all the more important to invest in. Maybe one day Alibaba Coin may even become a reality. For now, Alibaba is all hands on deck when it comes to blockchain.

Noefal Ahmed

Software developer, graphics artist and crypto enthusiast. Noefal is a performing artist and covers blockchain startups for BlockPublisher. Contact the editor at

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