Alibaba founder wants blockchain to embrace greener future

September 17, 2018
Chris Wheal

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has urged the blockchain industry to embrace a “greener” future.

Speaking at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in China on Monday, the founder of the Chinese e-commerce heavyweight claimed new technologies such as blockchain and IoT risked becoming “meaningless.”

“The data age is a major opportunity for manufacturers to reform the industry. But blockchain and IoT will be meaningless tech unless they can promote the transformation of the manufacturing industry, and the evolution of the society towards a greener and more inclusive direction,” said Ma.

Jack Ma

Jack Ma wants blockchain to promote a “greener, more inclusive” future

Blockchain patents

Ma has previously indicated that he sees strong potential in blockchain technology in areas such as data privacy and digital security.

Alibaba has thus far filed some 90 blockchain-related patents, surpassing the number filed by IBM.

Controversy

However, Alibaba’s payments platform Alipay has been forced to block accounts from participating in bitcoin over-the-counter trades amid increased efforts on the part of the Chinese authorities to rein in speculative cryptocurrency-related activity.

China is by far the leader in bitcoin mining, responsible for around 70% of the network’s hashrate.

Relatively cheap domestic electricity costs give the country an edge in crypto mining, though much of its electric power is still being generated from relatively dirty energy sources such as coal.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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