Ant Financial, the financial subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, began testing its enterprise blockchain platform. According to the local news outlet Sina Finance on 12th November, the senior director of technology and business innovation at Ant Financial, Jieli Li, made an announcement of the development at Wuzhen during the World Blockchain Summit.
The plans of the firm to launch its blockchain platform were first reported last year September. During the event, Li pointed out that the platform, dubbed Ant Blockchain Open Alliance, will go live after three months of testing. The aim of the platform is to support small and medium-sized businesses by allowing them to cut costs and be able to expand their reach.
Not Really Open
Although the name of the platform includes the word “Open,” Li explained that not everyone will be able to run the nodes of the network. During an interview with local news outlet CCValue on 11th November, Li said:
“As for the selection of node operators, we are more cautious. […] Because to form a credible value network, not only do they need to be a consensus accounting node, but they also need to provide authoritative endorsements.”
Li also said that certification and educational institutions are more desirable node operators because apparently they will lend credibility to the blockchain. There will be a selection of node partners based on the industries in which they operate, with the physical location in the country being relevant. So far, there hasn’t been any announcement of any organization entrusted with running a node.
Ant Financial, in September, also partnered with Bayer Crop Science, a pharmaceutical giant and Monsanto’s owner, to develop a blockchain solution for the food and crop industry.