Jack Ma: Blockchain’s great – Bitcoin’s (probably) a bubble
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Jack Ma: Blockchain’s great – Bitcoin’s (probably) a bubble

Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of Ecommerce titan Alibaba, has reiterated his view that blockchain is a powerful technological advancement – but the cryptocurrency Bitcoin (which popularized the technology, and in the minds of the general public remains synonymous with it) is “a potential bubble”. His statements follow the announcement that Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba, has launched a blockchain-based money transfer system between Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Alibaba’s share price has risen by 17% so far this year

graph 2606 jackma

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

“Blockchain technology could change our world more than people imagine,” Ma told reporters in Hong Kong, “Bitcoin, however, could be a bubble.” Blockchain is the decentralized ledger upon which Bitcoin is based – a way of tracking transactions with greater trust than was previously possible.

A blockchain records all the data from each transaction – agreed upon by the parties in question – in a “block” of digital data, and connects that block to others in a chain. That chain is then totally unalterable: you can’t change the information in each block, and you can’t insert any other blocks between them. As such, it offers a way to avoid the difficulties of centralized power in transactions, and a get-around for disputes over the conditions upon which transactions have been made. Now, all of those conditions are irreversible, and encoded in a digital chain of data blocks.

Ma also used this event to take potshots at the traditional banking industry, claiming that financial institutions were overcharging for international money movement. Underlining his vision for Ant Financial, he said: “Traditional financial institutions serve 20% of people and make 80% of profits. New financial institutions should service 80% of people, and make 20% of profit.”

Disclosure

Dominion holds Alibaba in its Global Trends Managed Fund.


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The views expressed in this article are those of the author at the date of publication and not necessarily those of Dominion Fund Management Limited. The content of this article is not intended as investment advice and will not be updated after publication. Images, video, quotations from literature and any such material which may be subject to copyright is reproduced in whole or in part in this article on the basis of Fair use as applied to news reporting and journalistic comment on events.