News Flash: Blockchain Boosts Online Commerce Festival

Ant Financial uses blockchain to quickly verify the ID of merchants on new marketplaces

Ant Financial is using distributed ledger technology to help fuel the international expansion of China’s Singles’ Day shopping festival, according to a report by Ledger Insights. Through its digital payment service Alipay, Ant Financial is using a blockchain “to provide traceability, copyright protection, identity verification, and supply chain financing for its e-commerce platforms and partners,” the report said.

The solution enables merchants in China to create and store digital identities, which can then be verified by overseas marketplaces in a few minutes, according to the report. “For example, with its digital identity online, a merchant on Tmall can quickly set up its business operation on Lazada,” an Ant Financial spokesperson told Ledger Insights. “Ant Blockchain is also exploring how to help overseas merchants to do business on Chinese e-commerce marketplaces with this digital identity solution.”

Ant Financial’s partners include local online marketplaces Lazada and Daraz (both owned by related company Alibaba) and six e-wallet providers: Bangladesh’s bKash, Indonesia’s Dara, TrueMoney in Thailand, GCash in the Philippines, Malaysia’s TnGD, and Pakistan’s Easypaisa. The Alibaba Group logged 268 billion yuan (US$38 billion) of transactions on Singles Day 2019, up 26% from the 2018 event.

Meanwhile, the DID Alliance launched GADI, (the Global Association for Digital Identity) to support the development of a decentralised identity system that “strongly and uniquely binds an online ID to its owner, allowing identity owners to control their own personal information and its presentation and use online (as well as offline).” It plans to unveil a specification system  by the end of 2020.

For more information, see the Ledger Insights article here and the DID Alliance press release here