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Alibaba’s Blockchain Email Repository Gains Technology from Chinese Open Source Startup

Last Updated October 1, 2020 9:11 AM
Lester Coleman
Last Updated October 1, 2020 9:11 AM

Onchain, an open-source blockchain based in Shanghai, will provide technology for Alibaba’s first blockchain supported email evidence repository.

Onchain allows fast re-constructions for public, permissioned (consortium) or private blockchains and will eventually enable interoperability among these modes. Its consortium chain product, the Law Chain, will provide technology for Ali Cloud, Alibaba’s computing branch.

Ali Cloud has integrated Onchain’s Antshares blockchain technology to provide an enterprise-grade email repository. Onchain provides the bottom-layer framework for Ali Cloud, including its open-source blockchain capabilities, to enable any company to customize its own enterprise-level blockchain.

Da Hongfei introduces Onchain.
Da Hongfei introduces Onchain.

Ali Cloud recently discussed the partnership at its annual cloud computing conference, Yunqi Cloud Conference, in Hangzhou, China.

A Universal Framework

“Antshares’ technology can be applied to multiple areas, and the Law Chain is just another example of our fast re-deployment of the Onchain universal framework,” Da Hongfei, CEO of Onchain and founder of Antshares, told CCN.com.

“Ali Cloud, as the tech core of Alibaba group, has come to recognize our technical competence as well as the potential of the blockchain technology as a whole. We expect a lot of companies to follow suit,” he said.

Ali Cloud’s blockchain-based email evidence repository will allow users to synchronize and store critical data (along with hash values) of critical emails to third parties. Users will be able to download emails and send them to judicial departments. Judicial departments can then conduct reviews based on the data to produce reports as evidence in a courtroom.

Email repositories will soon be powered and enhanced by blockchain technology.

Email, one of the most common communication tools for corporate business, is used as evidence in courtrooms and recognized by judiciaries. It has been difficult to extract original email files as digital evidence in court due to the resources, time, inter-departmental cooperation and technology required.

“As long as one side uses the service, the data will be stored securely, and the content will not be uploaded,” Da Hongfei said. “It’s the encrypted hash that got uploaded to Onchain and stored.”

Alibaba Cloud Expands

“Alibaba’s cloud computing platform is operating large data centers in HK (Hong Kong), Singapore, Silicon Valley, Russia, Japan and a dozen cities in China,” Da Hongfei said. “It provides cloud computing services to governments, academic institutions and private sector companies. Most Internet companies in China are powered by Ali Cloud.”

Ali Cloud has been used for computing services, domains, emails, network security and big data analysis. “It’s the major no. 1 service provider and infrastructure in major areas in China,” Da Hongfei said.

“It’s like a founding pillar of China’s Internet; from government departments, Giant SOEs (state operated enterprises) like Sinopec, to most of the modern day Internet startups,” he said. “It involves the entire life cycle of an Internet company, from domain to server to security to complicated businesses like data analytics and large-volume computing. Again, the cooperation is with its email department, also an industry leader in China in the sector.”

“The Law Chain, using Antshares-derived technologies, is now operating stably and swiftly expanding into multiple areas,” Da Hongfei said. “We now have experts from China’s top law schools from professors, deans to JDs, you name it. And we will soon gain recognition from China’s judicial authentication centers.”

Also read: Making encrypted email usable

New Era For Evidence Storage

The combination of digital evidence storage and blockchain technology will change the landscape of evidence storage and bring more security and efficiency, Da Hongfei said.

He noted blockchain technology is extending to new uses due to its functionality, security, efficiency and low cost.

Antshares recently raised over $4.5 million a crowdsale, enabling it to complete the first ever open-source blockchain project in China, CCN.com reported.

The Onchain team, led by Da Hongfei, includes developers formerly with BTCC, Huobi and financial experts from Morgan Stanley and State Street.

Onchain received the Award for Excellence in Innovation in Blockchain Technology from Frost & Sullivan. Onchain was also named a KPMG China Leading Fintech 50 selection.

Images from Onchain and Shutterstock.