With their leathery skin and tiny feet like tentacles, sea cucumbers seem an unlikely candidate for spearheading blockchain technology.

In China, the marine animal, who counts starfish and sea urchins as cousins, is considered a delicacy and is an important ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine where it’s used to treat arthritis and improve sexual health.

It’s little surprise then that sea cucumbers are expensive. Less than a kilo of these critters could set you back as much as $3000 Alibaba’s Tmall store. And where there’s a price tag, fakes tend to follow. For example, international crime syndicates make millions of dollars from smuggling them. 

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Masha Borak

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] technode.com. Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.