China’s Fintech Giant Ant Financial Launches Consortium Blockchain Platform for SMEs and Developers

Ant Financial, a spin-off of Chinese e-commerce giant Alipay and akin to PayPal in the U.S., has launched a consortium blockchain platform which enables developers and small and micro enterprises (SMEs) to utilize innovative blockchain tools with higher efficiency and lower cost.

At the product launch supported by 8btc on April 16, Jin Ge, General Manager of Blockchain Platforms at Ant Financial, claimed that the platform, dubbed OpenChain, would help one million SMEs and developers innovate and explore more use cases over the next three years.

Jin Ge, General Manager of Blockchain Platforms at Ant Financial, speaking at the product launch

Based on the technology independently developed by Ant Blockchain, OpenChain claims to support the scale of 1 billion user accounts, 1 billion daily transactions, and achieve 100,000 packets per second (PPS) in cross-chain message processing capacity.

Ant Financial’s OpenChain was publicly announced in November 2019, and completed its open beta test this March, during which period it has drawn a batch of SMEs.

Wu Xiao, founder and CEO of WhiteMatrix, a firm that has been using OpenChain to develop smart contracts for developers, commented that

“The platform offers efficient blockchain development services, facilitates cost-effective smart contracts, and lowers the entry barrier for developers. Not only are OpenChain’s transaction speeds several times faster than public blockchain platforms like Ethereum, but the cost per transaction is only one tenth of others.”

According to its website, for the first three months till June 30, registered users would get 100 million free GAS and discounts to develop apps on the platform.

The fintech giant made foray in blockchain early in 2016. Founded in 2016, Ant Blockchain has already covered over 40 fields including commodity traceability, public welfare, medical health, copyright, cross-border remittance, supply chain finance, e-invoice, insurance, etc.

The company has also been making particular efforts in blockchain R&D over these years. It has wan the champion with the most blockchain patents in the world for three consecutive years since 2017.

The country’s industry pioneers like Alibaba have been exploring the practical ways the blockchain technology can benefit real economy, especially after China’s President Xi urged to accelerate blockchain adoption last October.

The country’s central bank is also making relentless efforts, with reports going these days that Chinese state-owned banks offer test interface for PBoC’s Central Bank Digital Currency.

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