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China's blockchain environment

Daryl Guppy
Daryl Guppy11/22/2019 06:30 AM GMT+08  • 5 min read
China's blockchain environment
(Nov 25): Last week, in Beijing, I went to the bank. It was unusual for two reasons. Firstly, because bank branches have almost become redundant with the widespread penetration of WePay. They will become less important from a retail perspective as China p
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(Nov 25): Last week, in Beijing, I went to the bank. It was unusual for two reasons. Firstly, because bank branches have almost become redundant with the widespread penetration of WePay. They will become less important from a retail perspective as China progresses more rapidly towards the development of a digital currency and blockchain implementation as recently promoted by President Xi Jinping.

The second unusual feature was that all I had to do was smile to access my account. I needed to deposit cash — this in itself is an unusual event — so I went to the ATM to complete the transaction. I had the choice of using a pin number or smiling for the camera. Facial recognition is now enabled for all bank accounts.

It follows on from the Alipay “Smile to pay” campaign that was launched two years ago. Its adoption by the banks underpins just how advanced, secure and reliable facial recognition technology has become in China. This is in contrast to many Western examples of facial recognition software that have around an 80% success rate and that is when the customer is standing still for several seconds.

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