Jack Ma said during a launch event on Monday that,“Technology itself isn’t the bubble, but bitcoin likely is.” Further, he mentioned, “Blockchain technology could change our world more than people imagine. Bitcoin, however, could be a bubble.”
Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Groups Holding Ltd.,is recommending to stay away from bitcoin according to the Wall Street Journal. But at the same time he is stressing and supporting the real technology, blockchain, which is behind it.
As per speculations bitcoin rose more than 1,300 percent last year to a high near $20,000. This year, the digital currency has fallen 50 percent to around $6,280.
In his espousal of blockchain as a technology, he has taken a crucial step with an affiliate of Alibaba group, Ant Financial services,to launch a cross-border platform of remittance through Alipay meant to lower the cost of sending money overseas and calling it as an embracing effort that is likely to help Filipinos working in Hong Kong.
Filipinos in Hong Kong are one of the largest foreign communities in the city-state according to the Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong. It is estimated that about US$561 million was remitted by Filipinos in 2016.
With the blockchain-based remittance service of Alipay, sending money will be done at competitive exchange rates, lower transaction fees with real-time cash transfers between people in Hong Kong and the Philippines in a digital wallet service. The service is a collaboration with Philippines-based GCash, operated by telecommunications firm Globe Telecom.
Jack Ma, who is also Ant’s controlling shareholder, said blockchain “must be used to solve data privacy, security, and sustainability issues” but that with cryptocurrencies the technology has been turned into “tools and concepts for making money.” With the leverage of this technology, he wanted to find a way to help people.“It is…not right to become rich overnight by betting on bitcoin.”