When we said blockchain is the future, turns out we were correct. China has recently launched their first blockchain-based electronic invoice for a subway ride, at the Futian Station of the Shenzhen Metro. This is an incredible step ahead for blockchain as a technology, having found acceptance in the largest country of the world in terms of population.
This e-invoice initiative has been jointly developed by the Shenzhen Municipal Taxation Bureau and Chinese tech giant Tencent. Tencent has provided the blockchain technology back-up through WeChat, which is their largest social media platform with over 1 billion users. Shenzhen also happens to be the first economic special zone in China.
This e-invoice system, now that it has launched, is expected to record 170,000 online self-service invoices a day. So how does it exactly work?
After the end of each trip, the Shenzhen Metro passenger code will be sent to the WeChat Payment voucher page. Commuters will receive their digital invoices on the app itself. An estimated one million electronic invoices backed with blockchain technology have already been issued as of March 15, 2019. The total cost of the invoices sum up to 1.33 billion yuan (around $200 million).
The service will replace the standard paper invoices for the Shenzhen Metro, which are estimated to cost about 400,000 yuan each year ($59,577). Cai Yige, manager of Tencent’s blockchain business, highlighted how blockchain based invoices cannot be tampered with, which is great for ensuring their authenticity.
Allegedly, the government plans to gradually utilize this technology across all public transport systems including “taxis, airport buses and other traffic scenes simultaneously with on-line blockchain electronic invoicing functions.” This is an incredible step ahead for the integration of blockchain in our day to day lives. These digital invoices would certainly be accurate and would help in saving a lot of paper.