With Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba making use of blockchain tech to drive sales during the recently concluded Singles Day, the technology has progressed from being just something that China intends to focus on in the future, to a technology that the country is fully integrating into its economy.
Alibaba Breaks Single's Day Sales Record
It was nearly a decade ago that Alibaba first turned Singles Day (which falls on the 11th of November every year), from a plain old holiday for single people into a shopping extravaganza akin to Black Friday. The company broke all sales records for this Singles Day, registering a whopping $30 billion in sales.
Ant Financial (which is a fintech unit of Alibaba), reported that it made use of blockchain technology to refine the e-commerce giant's supply-chain tracking facilities, financing as well as verification of IDs for Singles Day. Although Ant Financial was not clear as to how and where it used blockchain specifically, the company's experiment paid off in a big way, paving the way for other global e-commerce players to follow suit.
Replacing Cash Back Offers With Bitcoin Rewards
Alibaba customers reportedly also earned rewards in the form of bitcoins as opposed to the usual cashback offers, during the Singles Day sales. After tying up with Lolli (a rewards application that offers customers bitcoins when they shop from their favorite stores), Alibaba decided to roll back on its usual cash-back offers. By using Lolli's in-browser app, consumers could shop on their favorite websites as they otherwise normally would, and subsequently, earn diminutive bitcoin rewards that would be deposited to their in-browser wallets.
According to the company's representatives however, these bitcoin rewards were only made available to Chinese immigrants, students and visitors residing in the US. The startup has plans of partnering with more firms across the world and plans on large-scale international expansion in 2020.
This partnership between Lolli and Alibaba was also a move to ease the currently strained economic ties between the US and China. Albeit, Lolli isn't the only player in the game. Other cash-back cryptocurrency startups such as Pei, SPEDN, and FOLD, have set their sights on the holiday season soon approaching, to offer millions of consumers lucrative bitcoin rewards programs.