Blockchain Quake in China, 3 More Internet Giants March into Blockchain Industry
The very first week of 2018 has seen three China’s top Internet giants’ deployment in the blockchain industry.
Blockchain Deployment and Spiked Stock Price
Renren, popular among students in early years as a counterpart of Facebook in China, almost forgotten in these years, are coming back with strategy in blockchain. Renren recently released its RRCoin whitepaper aiming at providing a blockchain-based open source platform for social networks. Its ICO project named RRCoin will be used in multiple scenarios such as live streaming, business marketing, social network games and wallet application with a total of 1 billion coins released. Renren’s stock (NYSE: RENN) spiked 19.63% on the day of the announcement on January 2, 2018 and 47.39% on the following day, with a total increase of 76%, on which whereas it fell at the past weekends by 30%. And it is reported that its ICO project has been halted and required to refund hours before press time.
NetEase, a top Internet company in China, has completed its investment in ArcBlock, a startup aiming to lead blockchain 3.0 revolution in US. Days ago it has launched a blockchain-based virtual game called Zhaocaikitties like Cryptokitties, which is NetEase’s new attempt as the earliest one to deploy blockchain technology for recreational and leisurely purposes.
Qihoo 360, a leading antivirus software provider, launched a brand new website named btc.360.cn covering cryptocurrency news and trending analysis. The website has been inaccessible since Jan.2, 2018, and the company explains it is still in its testing phase, while some people guess it may be affected by China’s regulations. Apart from that, it also launched a blockchain research lab to explore how the technology can be used for better financial services.
Last year, Baofeng and Xunlei also launched blockchain-related products, respectively, “Boko Cloud” which is expected to work like a mining machine, generating BFC tokens for its owners and “LinkToken” (formerly “Wanke cloud”). Baofeng stock, suspended for trading for nearly five months, re-entered as a “blockchain concept stock” on December 8, 2017. The following two days witnessed 9.99% and 5.85% increases respectively with strong momentum. After Xunlei (NASDAQ: XNET) launched the blockchain-based cryptocurrency project named “Wanke coin” (renamed as LinkToken) in July,2017, its stock increased five-fold from less than $5 per share to nearly $25 per share in less than two months.
Prior to that, as members of BAT (stands for Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent as key pioneers in the development of Internet services for China), Alibaba and Tencent has already step forward to have strategic deployment in blockchain technology. In 2016, Alibaba has launched the first blockchain-powered email evidence repository using the blockchain technology named Law Chain, which allow users to synchronize and store critical data (along with hash values) of critical emails to third parties at the price ranging from 960 to 14400 CNY a year. In 2017, Tencent launched TrustSQL project that aims to build a secure and efficient solution based on the blockchain infrastructure.
With these companies’ stock price going up and down, many may have the wonder that are they just selling the concept of blockchain or having real actions? Will these top Internet giants squeeze out small-sized blockchain startups or make the pie bigger for all?
Increasing Need For Blockchain Professionals
As we embrace 2018, more and more companies are embracing blockchain technology with an urgent need for technical staff. There’s evidence showing that Meitu, a global innovator in mobile video and photography including beauty themed photo & video apps, has a strong wish to step into the blockchain industry for its recent recruitment ads for blockchain architects.
As a China’s public institution, Guangzhou Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences are also seeking for professionals who are acquainted with the underlying technology of Hyperledger, Bitcoin or Ethereum. Such professionals are also welcomed in banks, not to mention Internet and technology companies like BAT, Qihoo 360, Netease, Sohu and Meitu mentioned above.
Appendix: List of some major products and companies involved in the blockchain technology.
- Alibaba blockchain-powered email evidence repository (already)
- Xunlei LinkToken, formerly Wanke Cloud (already)
- Newifi (already)
- Yunfan Miner Box (already)
- Gee’s Hiwifi (coming soon)
- Imwallet (coming soon)
- Baofeng Boko Cloud (coming soon)
- G-Dock (already)
- NetEase Zhaocaikitties (coming soon)
- Tencent blockchain-based platform(coming soon)
- Qihoo 360 blockchain-based platform(coming soon)
- Huawei blockchain-based platform (coming soon)
- Mcsports bracelet (Pre-sale)
- CAN Box (shipment will begin on Jan.31, 2018)