Buzzword 'blockchain' could apply to every sector, saving cost
CGTN's Yan Yunli
Blockchain fever has spread into almost every market across the globe. Blockchain refers to a highly secure and decentralized way to transfer digital assets and it has long been regarded as a versatile technology with the potential to alter the financial landscape and how people handle transactions.
Blockchain is the core behind the hotly debated Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Wang Jianhui, general manager of R&D at Beijing-based Capital Securities says that application in cryptocurrency is perhaps the least useful part of this technology.
“The application in cryptocurrencies is a bit ahead of itself,” Wang said. “We could apply blockchain to everything from including trade, credit, due diligence checks, public services, and a lot more. But it might not get huge future until it solves issues like moral hazard, privacy and the misuse of data,” he said, though he believes that trade is an area where there is still a lot of unpicked low-hanging fruit.
China’s tech titan Alibaba has tried to do cross-border business with other countries using blockchain, because such technology can reduce the mistrust between traders and strangers, according to Wang. China’s internet giant Baidu launched its blockchain platform BaaS (BlockChain as a Service) last Friday, while Tencent, another top tech company in China, also said it is developing its own BaaS platform.
So far, the use of blockchain remains the realm of large corporations, but Wang says this may soon change.
“In the future, I think even common people will feel its impact on their social and business life. For instance, if you are dating someone online, you maybe have risks of meeting someone you don’t want to know. But with blockchain technology, you can do a credit check on the individual,” Wang explained.
As bitcoin’s prices soar, companies large and small have been hopping on the blockchain bandwagon, with the struggling Eastman Kodak launching a blockchain backed currency, KODAKCoin. Soft drinks maker Long Island Iced Tea renamed itself, Long Blockchain Corp, sending shares up on a vertical ride.
Chinese companies have also quickly followed suit, with over a dozen companies listed on the mainland bourse implying or disclosing bitcoin related-operations.
The Shenzhen bourse Tuesday evening stated that it would tighten oversight of companies “hyping up blockchain concepts,” misguiding investors, and vowed to discipline and launch investigations into those illicitly and intentionally rousing up speculation over the technology.