Category Archives: Jack Ma

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China’s Wealthiest List Boasts 13 Crypto Entrepreneurs, Asia’s Richest Woman

The 20th annual list of China’s wealthiest individuals has been released, showing the rising popularity of cryptocurrency, with 13 crypto entrepreneurs included in this year’s catalogue of riches.

The Hurun China Rich List catalogs anyone in the country with a net worth of more than CNY 2 billion (USD 209 million) and ranks the top 100 richest in China. This edition claims that Jack Ma of multinational conglomerate Alibaba to be China’s wealthiest man, with a net worth of USD 39 billion.

An encouraging statistic for the blockchain industry is the news that Blockchain is officially the fastest growing industry in China. The list cites 14 new players including Zhan Ketuan and Wu Jihan of crypto mining company Bitmain.

Zhan, co-founder of computer chip manufacturer of and software firm Bitmain Technologies was found to top the crypto list and sat in the top 100 with an estimated wealth of CNY 29.5 billion (USD 2.4 billion). Second in wealth to him was Wu with a personal worth of CNY 16.5 billion (USD 2.3 billion).

Other names from the world of cryptocurrency included Binance founder and CEO, ranking 230 on the list with an estimated wealth of CNY 15 billion (USD 2.1 billion), OKCoin exchange founder Star Xu and Zhang Nangeng, founder of hardware manufacturer Canaan Creative.

Hu Dong, founder of BTC mining machine Ebang International Holdings, and Li Xiaolai also made the list, the latter claiming recently he is moving on from blockchain investment.

One interesting development in the breakdown of wealth in the country is the report that women made up 28.7% of those appearing in it; a figure unsurpassed in over 20 years. Yang Huiyan, at the age of 37, became China’s wealthiest woman. Property developer Yang is also the wealthiest woman in Asia with a worth of an estimated USD 26 billion. She once added USD 6 billion to her portfolio in seven days of trading.

The rate at which some of these entrepreneurs are expanding their portfolios at such a rapid rate means that the status as the “country’s richest” is always being challenged.

 

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Alibaba Founder: Blockchain Meaningless Without Greener, Inclusive Future

The founder of Chinese multinational retail conglomerate Alibaba, Jack Ma, has said that blockchain needs to prove it can push a greener, more inclusive future forward for society, else it is ”meaningless”.

Speaking at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, China on Monday, Ma said that the ”data age” is a great opportunity for the supply side of the economy to transform the landscape of money and finance. Referencing artificial intelligence, blockchain and Internet of Things technology, Ma said that this modern reformation should not be promoted unless these innovations can bring a greener and more inclusive direction for society.

This is a big call coming from the man who founded the world’s number one company in terms of blockchain patent applications. Although it is reported that Ma has plans to retire from the company, his attitude will surely carry influence within the company and their own blockchain developments.

Ma has defended blockchain on previous occasions, earlier this year refuting claims that the technology is a bubble waiting to burst, although he did claim that Bitcoin in fact was. At this time he also referenced a concern for social improvement, saying new technologies should be questioned on ”what value can it bring to society, government, enterprises, and consumers in the data age”.

Social enterprise with blockchain

Some circumstances show that blockchain has already had a positive impact on social enterprises, with companies utilizing the new technologies to promote their causes of financial, social and environmental well-being.

In one case of this, Finnish start-up Moni created a blockchain-backed card that tackles the issue of refugees economic exclusion due to a lack of personal identification they hold. Each card is linked to an individual’s identity that can be used by refugees to purchase products, pay bills and receive payments from employers.

Swytch is an example of a blockchain company promoting the use of sustainable energy. Right now the pilot project is looking to distribute around 3.5Gw of solar, wind, hydro and bio-gas energy, enough to power over 500,000 homes.

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The United Nations’ Secretary-General Has Blockchain Firmly on the Agenda

The United Nations has put together a panel of 20 experts in order to investigate how blockchain can impact global economics.

The panel was initiated by The United Nations’ (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres. The group which comprises of 20 figures from major sectors including industry and academia will examine digital technologies in general with a particular focus on blockchain technology.

Executive Director and co-chair of the UN secretariat Ambassador Amandeep Gill, commented the new body, called the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation:

“You cannot look at ‘web 3.0’ without looking at blockchain or without looking at AI (Artificial Intelligence) […] our hope is that through discussion of these various digital domains […] in terms of human rights, in terms of privacy, in terms of subversion of democracy, we are able to come out with some common principles…of strengthening cooperation across borders.”

It was also revealed that Melinda Gates, founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba Jack Ma were invited to co-chair the new panel. It is thought that Ma was selected due to his work with blockchain, including his raising of $14 billion for development projects.

Secretary Guterres has said that digital technologies are affecting society at an “unprecedented scale” with Ma conceding that “that the impact of blockchain on the future of humans may be far beyond our imagination.”

The UN itself has been implementing humanitarian programs using blockchain for a number of years but admits it can do far more. There are currently 25.4 million refugees in the world and some 3.1 million asylum seekers around the world, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

Blockchain solutions are in place in many poorer countries working to improve the lives of individuals at community and national levels, but it is noticeable that the worldwide refugee crisis hasn’t as yet been significantly impacted by new technology.

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Chinese E-Commerce Giant Says Blockchain Not A Bubble

Founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Jack Ma, has commented recently that he doesn’t see blockchain as a bubble, unlike sees bitcoin, which is something he has no plans to pursue.

The e-commerce boss made the comments at the 2nd World Intelligence Conference, which was held in Tainjin in Northern China on May 26th. At the conference, he reflected on research that he’d been involved in over the years, saying that DLT has the potential to address data privacy and security at all levels, both private and governmental. He also referred to the current fintech space as an “era of big data.”

Alibaba reported $39.9 billion in its latest Q4 earnings, with a trading volume of “trillions of transactions.”  Its founder went on to say that he was disappointed by the fact that much of the blockchain industry’s interest still comes from speculators, who view the technology as a “huge gold mine”. Speaking with CNBC Shanghai, Ma said that he was wary of bitcoin, even at its recent hiatus back in December 2017, stating:

“I don’t know about Bitcoin at all. I’m particularly puzzled. Even if it can really work, the rules of global trade and the financial system will be completely changed. I don’t think we are ready. So I’m still paying attention to Alipay… to the US dollar, and the euro. We have a team that studies blockchain, but Bitcoin is not something that I want to pursue. We don’t care about Bitcoin.”

Last year, Ma became the richest man in Asia, according to Bloomberg, with his net worth surging to $41.8 bln. Alibaba’s mobile payment app AliPay, reportedly has 450 million users. However, the company hasn’t embraced cryptocurrencies and has recently seen one of its subsidiaries, Taobao, ban ICO related advertising.

Alipay, now the Ant Financial Services Group, introduced blockchain technology in 2016 to improve its accountability while working with the Chinese charity industry.

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