Jack Ma, who now plans to go into retirement, has a net worth of $36.9 billion, according to Forbes. The overwhelmingly popular mobile payment app Alipay, run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, is said to have 450 million users.

Blockchain is no new topic for the e-commerce titan, as Ma has previously this year rebutted claims that the technology is merely a “bubble,” emphasizing that he has been researching blockchain for years and believes strongly in its potential to address issues of data privacy and security for society at all levels.

Indeed as early as summer 2016, Ant Financial, introduced blockchain technology to improve accountability in its work with the Chinese charity industry, going on to recruit blockchain experts in the company at large the following year.

Fresh data published late August revealed that Alibaba had sealed the top first globally on a new list that ranked entities by the number of blockchain-related patents filed to date; the e-commerce conglomerate has filed a staggering 90 such patents, outflanking even IBM.

Nonetheless, Alibaba has strictly complied with Beijing’s recently redoubled efforts to clamp down on decentralized cryptocurrencies, with Alipay announcing it would block any account that uses its network to transact in Bitcoin (BTC) over-the-counter (OTC) trade.

Ant Financial has also reportedly said it plans to conduct a “risk prevention” program intended to educate users about the dangers of false crypto-related “propaganda.”