China's most popular messaging application, WeChat, has frozen a third-party blockchain application designed to introduce the nascent technology to a wide user base.
The mini-program, called Xiao Xieyi (or Mini Protocol in a literal translation), was launched on Wednesday and touted as a service that would allow users on WeChat to initiate contractual agreements, according to the Chinese business news outlet Caijing. However, the app, which is owned by Tencent, suspended the program within a day.
Upon reaching consensus, the tool - developed by a Beijing-based blockchain-as-a-service platform called Niuco Box - would encrypt and record agreements on a blockchain for a fee. The funds raised through the app would pay miners who write transactions onto the network underpinning the application.
The effort may mark one of the first moves by Chinese blockchain developers to make the technology accessible to mainstream social media users. In March 2018, Tencent CEO Pony Ma claimed the messaging app now has more than 1 billion monthly active users across the world.
Yet, the program has already been suspended by WeChat. A search of its name now leads to a page which explains the program has violated rules on the platform, though the exact violation remains unknown.
"The Mini Protocol is now being suspended because the type of its service is not yet authorized by the platform," the app said.
WeChat could not be reached for comment as of press time.
WeChat image via Shutterstock; Screen capture via Wolfie Zhao for CoinDesk