Thursday, December 8

Alibaba Vice-Chairman and Billionaire Joe Tsai Likes Crypto


The Chinese government has gone out of its way on the crypto crackdown. Despite this, the industry has evolved tremendously and continues to capture the imagination of many. Joe Tsai, who happens to be the executive vice-chairman of the Chinese e-commerce behemoth, Alibaba Group, is the latest to share his feelings on Twitter in three simple words, saying – “I like crypto.”

Tsai is Bullish on Crypto

Joe Tsai’s latest comment on crypto has created a frenzy in the micro-blogging space. For the uninitiated, Tsai is a Taiwanese billionaire who also owns the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Interestingly, Brooklyn Nets’ sharpshooter Kevin Durant happens to be a Coinbase investor. The NBA star and his company Thirty-Five Ventures recently entered into a strategic partnership with the cryptocurrency exchange.

Besides, this isn’t the first time Tsai had spoken in favor of crypto. In an interview with Sportico’s Brendan Coffey back in August, the exec talked about media convergence, sports betting, and crypto. His words were,

“Media, sports betting, crypto-we see all those things converging a little bit,” Tsai explained. “You can’t talk about sports betting these days without thinking how that affects your media rights. And maybe, for the betting fan base, injecting a little bit of crypto will be interesting.”

Alibaba’s Tryst With Crypto

Despite Tsai’s latest comments on crypto, Alibaba has stayed away from the industry. In September this year, the e-commerce giant announced that it will stop selling specialized mining equipment in response to the People’s Bank of China’s stringent policy.

The company revealed that it will halt the operations of two categories – Blockchain Miner Accessories and Blockchain Miners. It also went on to ban all cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, Quarkcoin, and Litecoin across all of its platforms.

2021 can be marked as a year when the Chinese war on Bitcoin (BTC) and the wider cryptocurrency got severe. The crackdown on crypto mining and trading started in May and soon intensified. This was a debilitating blow to the ecosystem in the country. Once a thriving mining scene, the new tightened policy almost eradicated institutional mining of cryptocurrencies.

Hence, it isn’t surprising that Alibaba’s tryst with crypto may have ended, for now at least. But, the metaverse is a whole different dimension, and the tech giants of the country, including Alibaba, are keen on exploring the opportunities. In fact, several companies have rushed for trademark applications related to the metaverse.

Featured Image Courtesy of BusinessInsider

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