Blockchain technology is of great interest to many companies. Hundreds of startups are focusing on this business model as we speak. JD.com, a major Chinese e-commerce company, unveiled a new accelerator program designed specifically for blockchain and AI startups. Known as AI Catapult, six companies are already on board for the first class.
An Interesting Move by JD.com
Few people would expect the Chinese e-commerce giant to focus on blockchain and AI. Even so, the company has kept a close eye on these nascent industries over the years. The company wants to continue to innovate and be part of the next big trend in the technology sector accordingly. With their new AI Catapult accelerator, the e-commerce giant focuses on blockchain and artificial intelligence startups.
The first six participants have been made public already. They include Bluzelle and CanYa as two of the blockchain startups. The focus on this new accelerator lies in testing real-world applications of these technologies at scale. It is possible we will see some form of integration with the JD.com logistics unit at some point.
It is also worth noting JD.com operates a sponsored AI Research lab. Additionally, it appears the Chinese e-commerce giant has big plans for artificial intelligence moving forward. Whether or not this means we will see major real-world use cases soon, remains to be determined. Additionally, the company also uses blockchain technology as part of its supply chain procedure. Further focusing on developments in both of these industries makes a lot of sense for the company.
Blockchain Continues to Turn Heads
It is not entirely surprising to see this focus on blockchain. There are different use cases for this technology moving forward. Considering how JD.com already has real-world use cases for this technology right now, they want to see what other startups can bring to the table in this regard. CanYa is an intriguing addition, due to its peer-to-peer marketplace solution. How that will impact the Japanese e-commerce industry, has yet to be determined.
Bluzelle provides scalable data storage and management services for decentralized apps. In the world of e-commerce, dApps can be quite an innovative development. For now, we have to wait and see how JD.com plans to explore this avenue. Their choice for Republic protocol is also pretty interesting. This Australian startup provides a decentralized dark pool service for atomic cross-chain trading. The project’s main focus is on Ether, ERC20 tokens, and Bitcoin, for the time being.
All of this goes to show JD.com is a big fan of blockchain technology first and foremost. There is only one AI-oriented company as part of this new accelerator. Bankorus uses AI for private wealth management. Unsurprisingly, this venture also makes use of blockchain technology for added transparency. With six startups as part of the accelerator, the next few months will be quite interesting. A lot of use cases are waiting to be explored where these technologies are concerned.