by Joseph Young
Asia’s most valuable company, Tencent, which is valued at 2.31 trillion Yuan, or approximately $335 billion, a market capitalization larger than that of Alibaba, has announced the development of its blockchain platform called TrustSQL.
Tencent is better known to the west as the owner of Riot Games, the development company behind popular online game League of Legends, which is played by over 100 million active monthly users. In China, however, the world’s largest user base of the internet, Tencent operates the country’s Facebook, YouTube, Paypal, Internet, telecommunications and Google-like advertising services. Although its services are entirely and solely targeted at China, its market cap remains larger than most Western companies and is currently competing with tech giants such as Google and Facebook.
To even remotely understand Tencent’s influence over the Chinese FinTech and Internet industries, it is important to consider that Facebook, YouTube, and Google are all banned within China. Such regulation over the country’s internet and the presence of a nationwide firewall is a part of the government’s initiative to localize all of the technology and internet services to China and eliminate its dependence on Western companies. Therefore, Chinese users are only allowed to utilize Chinese products and services.
In April, Tencent released its official white paper of its blockchain platform TrustSQL. In it, the conglomerate described its vision to provide enterprise-grade blockchain-based services to large-scale commercial companies across various industries. It further emphasized that Tencent is looking ahead of the blockchain’s financial applications and is actively investing the technology’s potential in fraud prevention and transparent data storage.
The white paper read:
“It is found that the meaning of the blockchain is that it can build a more reliable Internet system, fundamentally solve the value exchange and transfer in the existence of fraud and rent-seeking phenomenon. More and more people believe that with the popularity of blockchain technology, the digital economy will be more authentic and credible, and the economy and society will become more fair and transparent.”
In many ways, Tencent’s TrustSQL blockchain infrastructure is very similar to that of IBM’s. On March 22, BTCManager reported that IBM launched its blockchain-based cloud services on top of Hyperledger’s blockchain protocol Fabric to provide blockchain tools to large-scale corporations.
Jerry Cuomo, IBM’s VP of technology, said in an interview:
“Some time ago, several other members of the industry and we came to view that there needs to be a group looking after, governing and shepherding technology around blockchain for serious businesses."
One major difference between Tencent’s enterprise-grade blockchain to IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric-based blockchain platform is its structure. According to researchers at Investopedia, who translated the white paper of Tencent, TrustSQL operates on a multiple-layered system which consists of the core chain layer, a product service layer and an application layer. The goal of Tencent is to provide a base blockchain platform with which businesses and organizations can freely deploy applications to suit their needs.
As mentioned above, Tencent holds a significant influence over the Chinese economy. Its reach in finance and FinTech industries will simplify the testing and implementation phase of its TrustSQL blockchain platform. In the upcoming months, Tencent will collaborate with local banks and corporations to test TrustSQL’s applicability across various industries.