A Singapore team has come up with the ‘world’s first blockchain-based’ hongbao – and it could change Chinese New Year

Handing out red packets or hongbaos at Chinese New Year may soon become even easier with cryptocurrency and smart contract technology.
Business Insider/ Jessica Lin

Handing out red packets (or hongbaos) during Chinese New Year can be rather troublesome.

Deciding how many packets to prepare, getting your hands on crisp notes and physically gifting the packets during house visits. We’ll say the process can be tedious but that may be an understatement to many.

However, that may no longer be necessary with cryptocurrency taking centre stage.

On Feb 14, a Singapore-based team callled CaiShen launched what’s touted as the “world’s first blockchain-based” smart red packets , which could change how red packets are doled out during Chinese New Year.

CaiShen is the brainchild of marketing manager Kelvin Quee and developer Koh Wei Jie, who both founded multilingual social media analysis company JamiQ, as well as two of Koh’s former college buddies, Rohan Naidu and Muhd Amrullah.

In a statement, CaiShen said that its red packets use smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.

“Such contracts are carried out exactly as they are defined and without the need to trust anyone or any central authority,” said the statement.

The team also ensures that recipients are only able to access funds on or after a predetermined date, added the statement.

The result is the ability to deposit any quantity of the cryptocurrency through the platform and have the option of specifying a redemption date in a seamless fashion.

In an interview with Business Insider, Quee said that the platform is short on local responses for now due to its recent launch, but it has already received referrals from Chinese social media app WeChat, suggesting growing attention from China.

CaiShen is free for all red packets below 0.1 ETH (about $80). For red packets 0.1 ETH and above, CaiShen charges a one-time flat fee of 1% for hosting charges and small contract execution fees.

The team said it intends to use CaiShen to educate the public about the applications of cryptocurrency and expand their knowledge of it beyond superficial facts.