Alibaba begins testing its own blockchain

Ant Financial, a unit of Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group, has launched a testing phase of its blockchain network aimed at supporting small and medium-sized businesses.

Speaking at the Wuzhen blockchain world summit, Jili Lee, senior Director of technology and business innovation at Ant Financial, said the technology behind the Ant Blockchain Open Alliance should start functioning three months after the testing period. According to a Sina Finance news article:

Although blockchain is open to developers and organizations from all over the world, we will be careful in choosing nodes on the platform.

According to a local news outlet, the company will include education and certification agencies as nodes to increase confidence in its own blockchain network and choose partners based on their industries rather than which regions they are based in. However, who represents or will represent these firms has not yet been disclosed; Lee explained in an interview with 8btc:

The goal of Ant Blockchain Open Alliance is to reduce costs and expand the reach of services across industries such as Finance and healthcare to a wider user base.
We can't disclose the names of our partners who are currently participating in the consortium for the promotion of the blockchain.

The company unveiled the project in September and has since been actively adding partners to its consortium. The company is also working on other blockchain projects, including a food tracking APP and an agricultural product monitoring system in partnership with Bayer.

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