Alibaba Launches Blockchain for Charities

September 6, 2019 2:00 pm

Hangzhou (PingWest)—September 5, Alibaba Group announced a blockchain-based platform for charitable organizations. ‘Charities on the Chain’ (CoC) was launched during Alibaba’s annual Philanthropy Week.

Co-developed by Alibaba Philanthropy and Ant Financial’s blockchain team, CoC has built an open platform for charitable organizations. Blockchain technology deployed in the platform connects donors, charitable organizations and beneficiaries, to ensure every donation is transparent, immutable, and traceable. The technology can inform the donors when and where their money is transferred and how it is spent.

Alibaba has provided this platform for free to charitable organizations in its ecosystem. It will assist those organizations without the proper technology know-how to digitize their operations, improve their efficiency and win public trust. In future, the platform will be further extended to other social organizations and auditing services, allowing broader monitoring of philanthropic efforts.

In the fiscal year 2019, the Alibaba ecosystem has recorded a total of 9.1 billion charitable donations from 440 million consumers. Looking forward, Alibaba expects CoC to handle over RMB 200 million worth of donations by year-end. In the next two to three years, all charity projects in the Alibaba ecosystem will leverage the CoC solution. 

Simon Hu, Alibaba Partner and President of Ant Financial, said: "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. Blockchain is a natural choice to build that trust and encourage the healthy development of philanthropic efforts."

Ant Financial launched a pilot using blockchain technology to track charitable donations as early as July 2016. Through June 2019, it had worked with over 700 charitable organizations and powered about 3600 charitable programs using blockchain, raising RMB1.51 billion from 1.1 billion overall donations.

China’s philanthropic sector is vibrant and growing. According to China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs, 20 online donation platforms in China, including “Alipay Love,” facilitated individual donations totaling RMB1.8 billion (USD 250 million) in the first half of 2019. During this period, the donations made via Alipay Love exceeded RMB600 million, or more than one-third the total of all online donation platforms.