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Alibaba launches blockchain for charities


China’s Alibaba Group today announced a blockchain-based platform for charitable organizations. ‘Charities on the Chain’ (CoC) was launched during Alibaba’s annual Philanthropy Week.

CoC is an open platform developed by Alibaba’s Philanthropy arm and Ant Financial’s blockchain team. The aim is to provide transparency for charities, donors and beneficiaries and keep track of donations. Donors can also view where their donations were used.

In the fiscal year 2019, Alibaba said it had recorded a total of 9.1 billion charitable donations and expects CoC to handle RMB200 million ($27.9 million) by the end of this year. The company plans to shift all its charity projects on the CoC platform. It’s providing it free of charge to charities.

“Charitable donations are given with people’s trust to philanthropy platforms. It is our responsibility to ensure platforms’ transparency and live up to donors’ trust,” said Simon Hu, Alibaba Partner and President of Ant Financial. He added that blockchain was a natural choice for this project owing to its security and transparency.

Germany’s Deutsche Bahn is also using blockchain for charity initiatives. It launched an app called CharityChain for donors to track their donations.

Last year Alibaba Cloud launched its Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) offering which supports Hyperledger Fabric, Ant Blockchain and Quorum. Alibaba Cloud is using blockchain for smart contracts, certificate management, and software development applications.

Alibaba is also working with affiliate Ant Financial Group for rice traceability using blockchain. Ant Financial has been in the blockchain space since 2016.

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