Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced the successful completion of the first automated payment made using its blockchain platform for charitable organisations.
Alibaba used its “Charities on the Chain” (CoC) platform to automate the payment of a 1500 yuan student subsidy from the New Future High School Student Initiative (新未来高中生项目) to a high school student in the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan province.
According to state media the recipient comes from a single mother pastoralist family in the prefecture, and his mother is responsible for taking care of both the student and two elderly family embers.
CoC is an open platform developed by the blockchain team of Alibaba-affiliate Ant Financial in cooperation with Alibaba’s philanthropy unit.
The platform was launched on 5 September during Alibaba’s annual Philanthropy Week, with the goal of providing transparency to and tracking donations for charitable groups, as well as their donors and beneficiaries.
The New Future initiative is active in 17 provinces throughout China, and had previously channelled donations from a central fund to local education departments, who would then pass the money on to schools involved in the initiative and subsequently to teachers who would be responsible for dispensing funds.
Alibaba’s CoC platform permits direct allocation of charitable funds to the accounts of student beneficiaries via Alipay’s facial scan system, cutting out the intermediaries previously involved in what amounted to a month-long fund allocation process.
Alibaba expects that over 200 million yuan in charitable funds will be placed on the CoC platform by the end of 2019.