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Blockchain-enabled house rental goes live in Xiongan, first in China

COLDSKY.CN – Xiongan New Area, a new economic zone under construction southwest of Beijing, teamed with Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial to launch a blockchain-based house rental platform almost a month ago, Beijing Youth reported.

Described officially as a “millennium strategy”, the construction of the area, covering Hebei’s Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin counties, will serves as a modern development hub amid the massive restructuring of the urban layout of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. A slew of top Chinese tech companies have announced plans to set up branches in Xiongan, including Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu. To curb real estate speculation, local authorities have also introduced stringent controls.

Blockchain, the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, is a shared and immutable database maintained by a network of computers on the internet. Investment into the technology has ramped up while the applications are being tested in numerous fields.

The house rental platform, directed by the local government, can ensure the multiple verification of information, including the house owner, occupancy and contract, essentially eliminating the possibility of data falsification and also keeping all historical transactions for every property.

However, the report adds the platform is, for the time being, only to be used for the internal management of local authorities and is closed to public users.

China Construction Bank, which took the lead in establishing a branch in Xiongan, and property agency Lianjia also participated in building the platform.

Alibaba plans to turn the new economic zone into an AI city, with “cloud computing” as its most important infrastructure and the Internet of Things as its nervous system, according to a strategic agreement reached with Xiongan’s management committee last November.

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