Retail Giant JD.com Launches Blockchain Research Lab

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Chinese retail giant JD.com is improving its edge in the blockchain technology by launching a research lab for blockchain, according to a recently published announcement.

[img desc: JD.com launches new Blockchain Research Lab in partnership with 2 Institutes]

The blockchain research lab is established in cooperation with Ying Wu College of Computing at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS).

The joint lab, which was revealed yesterday in Beijing, will “focus on solving efficiency and stability challenges that are the most significant bottlenecks restricting the wider application of blockchain, and explore new applications of the technology.”

A few examples of the lab’s research interests are “fundamental consensus protocols, privacy protection and security in decentralized application.”

The lab will run under the direction of Dr. Jian Pei, who is the president of JD Big Data and Smart Supply Chain, Dr. Qiang Tang, who is an assistant professor in the Ying Wu College of Computing at NJIT, and Dr. Zhenfeng Zhang, who is the vice chief engineer at ISCAS.

“JD.com is a pioneer in the utilization of blockchain technology, and we are dedicated to exploring its potential by investing in the growth of the blockchain ecosystem through key strategic and research partnerships,” Dr. Pei said.

“Our partnership with NJIT and ISCAS will leverage our respective strengths and resources to drive the continued development of this cutting-edge technology and its wider deployment across many industries. With more than 300 million customers, JD.com recognizes the pivotal role being played by blockchain in improving transparency in the supply chain and delivering greater peace of mind to Chinese consumers about product quality and safety,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Joel S. Bloom, who is the president of NJIT, said that the institute was “delighted” to partner with JD.com.

“Working with strong international partners is a clear recipe for success in this endeavor. We look forward to working with JD and ISCAS to develop many different blockchain  applications for a wide range of industries,” said Bloom.

“Through this partnership we will bring about blockchain innovation and promote industrial applications of blockchain technology,” chimed in Zhong Hua, who is the deputy director of the ISCAS.

Last month, JD launched the Smart City Research Institute at its headquarters in Nanjing and at facilitating the development of “smart city” construction with the use of artificial intelligence, big data, and blockchain technologies.

The institute will reportedly influence the whole east China region, aiming to lower industry costs and increase efficiency.

Last August, JD revealed its new blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform called JD Blockchain Open Platform. The new product is designed to help commercial customers to build, host, and implement blockchain solutions without needing to develop the technology from scratch.

Further, also in August, the company revealed that plans to issue asset-backed securities (ABSs) on a blockchain along with Huatai Securities and Xingye Bank. Within this partnership, the partners would reportedly assess blockchain’s capability to improve asset security.