JD.com & ARPA To Offer Blockchain-Powered Multi-Party Computations
JD.com subsidiary JD Digits is working on a blockchain-based network to protect the financial data of their clients in association with Chinese privacy-focused distributed ledger provider ARPA.
JD Digits (formerly known as JD Finance) plans on using ARPA’s decentralized network for ‘secure multi-party computations’ (sMPC) in an attempt to enhance the security of the data of its respective clients, as well as for being able to promote edge technologies of the likes of blockchain, the internet of things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) to other domestic companies.
Jingdong, mostly known as JD.com is one China’s largest online retailers, only second to the internet giant that AliBaba is. Analogizing the fact JD.com reached over 250 million customers as of 2018, one could say it’s completely pointless to subject Jingdong or any company of its class to numeric cock-fights. Still the numbers are quite impressive.
JD’s net revenues for Q4 2019 topped $24.5 billion in terms of U.S. dollars; an astonishing increase of over 26% from Q4 2018, while the overall net revenues of the Beijing-based company for 2019 were over $82 billion USD, or 576 billion Chinese RMB.
JD.com Is Not Your Typical Enterprise Trying To Capitalize On The Blockchain Hype
We’ve seen many attempts of blockchain adoption coming from the high tables, yet most of them were desperate shouts for attention, considering that Bitcoin (BTC) and blockchain are amongst the top search inquiries in Google for almost half a decade now.
From Microsoft, and IBM, to AliBaba, and Huawei, blockchain integration for top-shelf companies is now as important as the internet back in the day. Nevertheless, not every one of these fancy supposed to be hi-tech companies are aware of how distribtued ledger architectures work and what is the real point of value here besides decentralization.
Sure, IBM is currently leading the scene, having submitted the most patent filings subjecting the term ‘blockchain’ in an agony to empower its ecosystem of Hyperledger fintech tools and services, but there are also top-tier companies that have absolutely no clue what they’re going to do with the multi-million dollar investments in blockchain they were forced to commit, preassured by modern trends.
Take LG Electronics for example. We had the chance to interview Ken Hong (Senior Director of Global Communications), and Cho Taeg-il (Senior Vice President) who had absolutely no idea what they were going to do with their commercial partnership with Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR). *link to LG article at “interview”
Now, don’t take me wrong here. I respect LG’s decision to go future-proof, but what’s important here is the fact that most companies, even those leading the tech field are unaware of the vast potential distributed ledger technology brings to the table.
However, that’s not the case with JD.com and I’ll try to elaborate on that right away:
- Jingdong was founded back in ’98 and joined the online train in 2004.
- During the last one and a half decades, JD.com managed to grow to a business that employes over 137 thousand human resources, compared to Alibaba’s 65 thousand.
- While JD.com has a relatively lesser market capitalization, it showcased a revenue worth $15 billion more than Alibaba last year.
- JD.com puts its hi-tech taste in its branding, promoting smart delivery systems that utilize cutting edge tech including but not limited to robots, Ai software, and unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
- The Chinese internet giant plans on building unmanned aerial vehicles-specific airports, flight training camps, as well as provide courses to drone delivery operators.
- Some of JD.com’s drones are said to be able to transport freight weighing over a metric ton without human interference.
China: The Efficient Way To Approach Blockchain
Overall, China is not hiding its excitement about distributed ledger technology, and if anything, President Xi Jinping was one of the first, if not the first government leader to publically praise blockchain technology, urging local businesses and gov-backed organizations to shift their focus towards blockchain adoption immediately.
The reason for that being Xi Jinping’s vision of a decentralized governing system where people’s actions would decide their respective roles in society. Sounds like a Black Mirror episode? Take a Google dive at ‘Shenzhen’ and see what’s up.
China was deep into hi-tech and automation for quite some time, even before blockchain, hence DLTs are a natural component of future industries and governing bodies for the golden-red global leader.
Domestic companies have no reason to doubt the leader of the People’s Republic of China and stressed to grab every-single gov-backed guideline, development fund, and/or lessons when it comes to blockchain adoption.
Altough China is pretty strict when it comes to public, decentralized cryprocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), for reasons pegged to the minimal space left for regulatory certainty, it is highly interested in being a global leader in DLT architecture and blockchain services run on a domestic ledger.
That is why I personally believe JD.com is not just fooling around with a mdoern trend, but it has a clear understanding of the importance of such registry systems, especially when cosndiering the above.
We already know that logistics and warehousing are a couple of the top five industrial sectors subject to getting a complete blockchain lifting. Therefore a global leader in both fields should know its ropes around.
What puts me in thoughts in this case, is the fact JD.com has chosen a relatively unknown local blockchain provider like ARPA Chain, instead of industry standards that would suggest something between IBM and R3 for analogous solutions.
“We believe privacy is the cornerstone of finance and business. With ARPA privacy-preserving computation, JD’s institutional clients will have peace of mind that their data is kept encrypted all the way during the analysis,” Cao Yi, Media Director at JD Digits cited last Monday.
Might that be related to China’s internal investments policy or an affiliated link we’re missing is yet unclear. If you have any thoughts to share, feel free to use the comments section below, or hit me on Twitter.