Ant Group Exits Blockchain Fund After Investing $19 Million
Chinese fintech Ant Group is winding down a $100 million investment in A&T Capital’s blockchain fund after a probe into one of the fund’s founders. The investment was designed to expand Ant Group’s footprint into digital assets.
The co-founder of AT&T Capital, Yu Jun, resigned after the company began a probe into his behavior several months ago. Before working at AT&T, Yu Jun helped Ant invest in offshore crypto products.
Ant Group Blockchain Ventures Suffer in Favor of AI
In 2022, A&T raised $100 million for investments in crypto and blockchain. It injected $19 million into several high-profile crypto companies, including lenders Amber Group, MatrixPort, and Ethereum infrastructure developer ConsenSys.
Read here about one of ConsenSys’ flagship products, MetaMask.
Reports on the future of A&T Capital remain unclear amid a broader slump in crypto venture capital investment in favor of artificial intelligence (AI). It also reflects the changing interests of Ant Group backer Jack Ma after Alibaba, the e-commerce firm he co-founded, recently launched its own large-language model bot.
The country is investing heavily in AI to compete with the US. Its regulations forbid the use of non-socialist data in AI algorithms.
Aside from Alibaba, Chinese search giant Baidu also released its own chatbot compliant with socialist rules.
China’s Focus on Digital Currency May Diminish Fintech Blockchain Interest
Ant Group’s investment in blockchain may be deterred by the dominance of renminbi-based fintech services like Alipay, WeChat Pay. A report from London-based think tank Z/Yen Global Financial Crimes Index 30 Report ranked Shanghai second after New York in its list of global fintech hubs.
Find more ChatGPT alternatives here.
Moreover, most of the nation’s economy is already cashless. China was also part of the recent summit contemplating a common digital currency for the economies of Brazil, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS).
Adding to investment risk is the fact that several Chinese officials have been arrested for supporting the banned crypto industry. Earlier this year, several influential officials suggested that China was using Hong Kong to understand the inner workings of the crypto industry.
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