According to Alibaba founder, Jack Ma, blockchain technology is not a bubble, but bitcoin is. Speaking at the 2nd World Intelligence Conference in Tianjin on Wednesday, May 16, the leader of the Chinese e-commerce giant said that he has been researching blockchain for years and as a result, he strongly believes that the technology has the potential to address issues of data privacy and security in a vast number of different fields.
The company’s interest in blockchain technology does not come as surprise especially due to its prioritization of security. Jack Ma’s stance on bitcoin albeit understandable is rather surprising especially because it would offer a fresh approach to the company’s trading volume that sums up to trillions of transactions. Ma, however, clarified that he thought that the emerging blockchain technology was being overlooked in favor of bitcoin by speculators who view the decentralized digital currency as a “huge gold mine.” Again, understandable.
“Honestly, I know very little about it, and I am totally confused: and even if it works, the whole international rules and laws on trade on finance is going to completely change. I don’t think we are ready for that. So I think I’m focusing on the Alipay and focused on RMB, U.S. Dollars and Euros, and that’s fair … We have a team specifically to study that and also we have a team blockchain technology. We’ve spent a lot of efforts on blockchain technology at Alibaba, but Bitcoin, I say not for me. I don’t know,” Ma said during the conference. “But now that the blockchain is hot, there are people buying and selling blockchains … There is no bubble for blockchain, but there’s a bitcoin bubble … Personally, I’m quite bullish about blockchain.”
Alibaba seems to be quite serious about investing in blockchain technology – last year, for instance, the New York-listed Alibaba ranked first in the world for blockchain patent applications as revealed by data compiled by IPRdaily. Alibaba had 43 published blockchain patent applications in 2017. Blockchain has been lauded by a number of businessmen and if anything is to go by it should be a clear indication of the direction it will eventually take.