Ant Financial, Alibaba’s payment arm, has teamed up with Standard Chartered and GCash to launch a blockchain-powered cross-border remittance service. The first remittance was made at the announcement by Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma.
The transaction reportedly took only 3 seconds to process, whereas it usually takes 10 minutes to several days. This service was also mentioned to be as efficient as local transfers, but with 24×7 support and added cost savings. Alipay and GCash are the first to launch the service in their respective countries.
Jack Ma also posted a picture with the first user of the service on Twitter. The picture in question was posted on the Ant Financial Twitter page. The user was Mary Grace, a Filipino worker overseas. The post said:
Interestingly, Jack Ma views Bitcoin as a bubble. While he believes in and firmly supports blockchain technology, he has stated many times that while Bitcoin may be a bubble, blockchain is not.
On this, Jack Ma stated that blockchain should not be a technology for “overnight riches”, but must instead address data privacy and ownership concerns, enable sustainable development, and solve social problems. He also stated that this service has been in the works for 6 months, with global expansion soon to follow after the Hong Kong run. On adoption, he said:
“At present, there are still 1.7 billion people in the world who do not have bank accounts, but most people own mobile phones. The blockchain’s impact on the future of humanity may be far beyond our imagination.”
Jack Ma also believes in blockchain’s real-world applications. On the blockchain and the Internet of Things, he stated:
“In the face of the blockchain, in the face of machine learning and the Internet of Things, we must have a high level of understanding, especially since the impact of the Internet of Things on the manufacturing industry far exceeds everyone’s imagination, the impact of e-commerce on retail sales, and many retail sales. The industry is not prepared. We call for artificial intelligence. We call for the Internet of Things. We call for blockchains that will have a huge impact on each of us.”