Chinese fintech company Ant Financial, formerly known as Alipay, has launched a new blockchain consortium platform called OpenChain for SMEs.
The platform would allow developers and small- and micro-enterprises to use innovative blockchain tools, according to the company’s announcement. They can now further explore the technology and develop better blockchain apps and smart contracts.
The general manager of Ant Financial, Jin Ge, claims OpenChain’s launch will boost the efforts of nearly one million SMEs and developers over the next three years.
Pushing Blockchain Beyond FinTech Giants
According to the release, SMEs and developers could use various combinations of the available tools to create supply chain finance related products, product provenance, digital invoices, and charitable donations. This may help to diversify blockchain technology’s reach across different verticals.
Wu Xiao, CEO of WhiteMatrix – a company that used OpenChain to develop smart developer contracts – compared OpenChain to other blockchain platforms, including Ethereum:
“The platform 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.”
Cryptolydian reported earlier that, Chinese payment platform Alipay has revealed a number of patents, over the past month, which are related to and revealing more details about China’s digital yuan, the planned digital currency central bank (CBDC).
Alipay is set to play an integral part in the currency’s major functions when it’s launched, according to a report in the local media outlet Interchain Pulse.
Alipay ٍSecondary Issuer of CBDC
The first patent, announced in February, revealed that Alipay is likely to be involved in the secondary issuance of the currency as a third party operating agent. This would put Alipay on an equal footing with commercial banks, which will not have a secondary digital currency monopoly.
The most important revelation, however, is how the digital currency can be traced, requiring a blockchain-based currency’s functionality, despite not relying on blockchain technology itself.