Breaking Down the Inaugural Class of JD.com’s AI-Blockchain Accelerator
Building applications on top of the blockchain offers a unique opportunity for businesses to cut costs, not only with transactions but in many other crucial applications. One attractive area for blockchain innovation has been the supply chain, where businesses are looking to improve their supply monitoring and logistics systems at scale. Unsurprisingly, many top-level cryptocurrency projects are working on interesting solutions, like VeChain’s blockchain platform for supply chain management of luxury goods.
Given the financial incentives of having a high-tech supply chain, we are seeing massive e-commerce companies, like JD.com – China’s largest retailer, start to invest into developing blockchain infrastructure. Most recently, JD.com announced the launch of a brand new accelerator program, called AI Catapult, for the development of artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies.
With this new accelerator, JD aims to build new businesses and create and test real-world applications of their technologies at scale. “JD is in a unique position to explore the potential of AI and blockchain in global commerce,” said Bowen Zhou, Vice President of JD.com’s AI Platform and Research Division. “We are excited to work with some of the world’s most innovative startups to explore ways we can scale these cutting-edge technologies for the future of retail and other industries, as well.”
Here’s a breakdown of the six projects in AI Catapult’s inaugural class:
Description: Blockchain-powered, open-source, product verification protocol. Allows e-commerce companies to verify products through all steps of the supply chain and avoid counterfeits.
Token: (EVE) $11M market cap
Description: Blockchain-powered database service, providing scalable data storage and management services for decentralized apps.
Token: (BLZ) $84M market cap
Description: E-commerce payments and ID platform built on blockchain to prevent data breaches
Token: Upcoming ICO in Q1 2018
Description: Peer-to-peer marketplace that lets users pay for digital or home services with cryptocurrency.
Token: (CAN) $23M market cap
Description: Decentralized dark pool, or private exchange, for atomic cross-chain trading between Ether, ERC20 tokens and Bitcoin pairs.
Token: (REN) market cap unavailable.
Description: Formerly known as MiCai, this Chinese fintech startup claims to be the “world’s first private wealth management platform powered by AI and built on the blockchain.”
Token: No token available.
As you can see, there is a fair distribution of projects in this class, but all could be applied to solve key problems facing e-commerce platforms. Needless to say, any project that has the infrastructure support of a giant like JD.com should be something to keep your eye on, especially those with relatively small market caps.
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Disclaimer: The author(s) of this article may have a position in one or more of the securities mentioned above. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.