Lately, if China and cryptocurrency hit the headlines together, the news was likely to be negative. Today, however, we are seeing something different.
Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce and tech giant, has quietly launched a cryptocurrency mining platform, according to a report published by a local news platform.
Chinese local news agency Tencent News reported that the new platform is called ‘P2P Nodes’. Alibaba registered it on the 10th of October in Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu province.
A rough translation of the original report reads: “Alibaba has recently launched a virtual currency mining platform “P2P node”, from the terms of the service agreement terms platform, the main operating platform is Alibaba East China Ltd. It is reported that the company on October 10, 2017, has been completed registration, registered in Nanjing.”
In another detailed article, Tencent News also hinted that the business model of this mining operation might be based on third-party, i.e. the company will loan space on the cloud-based platform for its clients to mine cryptocurrency using its high hashrate infrastructure.
This is crucial news and a huge development – according to recently leaked reports, the government of the state is ordering local authorities to drive cryptocurrency miners out of the country by curbing electricity usage along with limitations on land use and tax, as well as through environmental protection measure.
It is worth noticing that one of China’s largest cloud-based crypto mining pools – ViaBTC – recently shut its doors, citing the vague reasons of controlling speculation and protecting its investor interests.
The report also mentioned that, according to inside sources, the platform will form a partnership with electricity suppliers.
On the part of Alibaba too, the extension towards the cryptocurrency business is odd, as Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, has expressed his distrust of digital coins on multiple public platforms. In an interview last month with CNBC, Jack Ma said: “I said honestly, I know very little about it, and I’m totally confused.”
“Even if it works, the whole international rules on trade and financing are going to be completely changed,” he added.
But at the same time, he voiced his trust in blockchain technology: ”We’ve spent a lot of efforts on blockchain technology and development.”
Recently, reports surfaced that the Chinese government might block access to all crypto trading platforms, both domestic and international, to its citizens on the country’s highly censored internet.
Amid all these regulatory concerns, the news of the launch of a crypto mining business by the one of the country’s largest tech leaders is a hugely positive sign.