Ant Financial Services Group, formerly known as AliPay, has announced the launch of OpenChain, a new blockchain platform that will enable small ad micro enterprises (SMEs) and developers to access proprietary blockchain technologies developed by Ant Financial. The platform is slated as an efficient method of allowing SMEs to deploy smart contracts and dApps at a low cost.
“Through the launch of the OpenChain platform, we aim to help one million SMEs and developers innovate and explore more use cases in the next three years,” said Jin Ge, General Manager of Blockchain Platforms at Ant Financial.
Ge also commented that applications of blockchain technology have “ballooned” over the past several years; Ant Financial’s own productivity blockchain platform can reportedly handle a billion user accounts and over a billion transactions each day.
According to Fintech News Hong Kong, OpenChain will provide developers with “dozens of readily available modules” that can be combined to create solutions for supply chain finance, product origin, charitable donations, and digital invoices–fields that require multi-party collaboration and a high level of trust.
The project has already garnered some partners and participants. “We are excited to partner with Ant Financial’s OpenChain,” said Wu Xiao, the founder and CEO of WhiteMatrix. WhiteMatrix is a provider of individual developer services and enterprise blockchain app development services that has been developing smart contracts on OpenChain since the platform began its alpha testing phase in 2019.
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“The platform offers efficient blockchain development services, facilitates cost-effective smart contracts, and lowers the entry barrier for developers,” Xiao said, adding that “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.”
Ant Financial will be a part of China’s new blockchain committee
Ant Financial was also named earlier this month as part of the National Blockchain and Distributed Accounting Technology Standardization Technical Committee, a new national blockchain committee that the Chinese government is forming to set standards for blockchain adoption within the country.
The national committee also includes a number of other major figures in the Chinese tech sector, including Huawei Technologies, Tencent Holdings, Baidu, and JD.com. 70 reseachers and experts are also expected to be a part of the committee.
The formation of the committee is the latest step in China’s journey towards integrating blockchain technology into many of its existing structures. The Chinese government is currently working on issuing a blockchain-based national currency.
In January, Ant Financial announced the launch of the Ant Blockchain Open Alliance, a platform for enterprise blockchain solutions.