Blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies has shaken off its links to digital currencies and is being seen more and more as a viable tool for a whole manner of things. One country that has seen the transformative nature of the technology is China. The nation’s government has to lead the world in adoption, with numerous use cases in governance and their leading companies all utilizing the technology. Here is our guide to China and blockchain:
China Blockchain Service Network
The news was dominated by China’s release of its digital currency electronic payment (DCEP), but the People’s Republic also brought out its blockchain service network (BSN) on April 27th. The platform network is meant for commercial usage and will provide a “one-stop-shop” for enterprises and individuals who want to launch a blockchain application. It has a future use case for smart cities, digital database storage, and a possible digital economy.
The network will be based on FISCO BCOS, an open-source protocol that lists Tencent’s digital currency wallet Webank and Cloud, Huawei, and Shenzhen Securities Communication. Webank provided smart contract Digital Asset Modeling Language for FISCO BCOS. In its initial Beta period, 2,000 developers signed up to the test period, creating blockchain applications for public welfare charity and electronic invoices.
Blockchain and Governance
China has slowly been piloting blockchain across the vast nation. Although there were some initial applications, the technology was first piloted in the island of Hainan, with this video from Asia Crypto Today’s Mia illustrating what will happen in the area and how blockchain will help.
Not long after, other cities began following suit. In mid-2018, Nanjing, the former capital, set aside 1.4 billion US dollars to encourage the development of blockchain projects in the city. 30% of this fund was for blockchain startups and 40 percent would be used to fund industrial firms. Hangzhou had a similar blockchain fund brought by Wanxiang who work with Ethereum.
Provinces Increase Blockchain Usage
After this success, various provinces across the nation began utilizing the technology even more. An Asia Crypto Today report from July of this year found that provincial administrative regions issued 106 pieces of policy information in the first half of 2019 alone. This, along with the various blockchain companies like Alipay’s Ant Financial, Baidu and Ultrain, saw the nation have 45% of blockchain projects for the first half of 2019.
Guangdong had released 12 pieces of blockchain policy at the time of writing earlier this year. These include the “tax chain” of Guangdong Province taxation, and the “blockchain+AI” of Guangzhou Huangpu District for business licenses.
Guangdong, the province which holds the Silicon Valley of China, Shenzhen, saw numerous examples of blockchain usage. ACT reported on numerous examples of this at play, from the Shekou port which began using blockchain invoices, to the metro which was also using blockchain to keep track of tickets. Districts in Shenzhen like Longgang have also begun using blockchain with them issuing well over 746,000 blockchain electronic invoices for taxes.
Taxes and invoices were not the only use point for blockchain and governance. Take Zhejiang province as an example. With the help of Alipay’s Ant Financial blockchain has rolled out the nation’s first blockchain electronic bill platform which allows users to keep their medical records and bills in one place. This blockchain feature is set to be rolled out across a hundred hospitals by now.
Use Cases Increase
The financial sector in China has also seen great acceptance of blockchain technology. Banks like the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) and Beijing Minsheng Bank have looked to utilize the technology. The PBoC is looking to make a national cryptocurrency sometime soon (although not necessarily blockchain-based) and Minsheng Bank has a blockchain electronic deposit certificate platform. Shenzhen financial technology company is helping innovate with the technology in the financial sector.
The example and use cases in China are endless, from insurance to rice and food tracking, the country is really taking to the technology. However, previously it was mainly a provincial activity, but things began to change in October of this year when the China’s leader, Xi Jingping, made comments about the technology.
Xi’s Blockchain Comments
The five-year trend of blockchain technology in China was cemented when the leader of the country, President Xi, told the world that the technology will be an important asset going forward. During a keynote speech he said:
“WE MUST TAKE THE BLOCKCHAIN AS AN IMPORTANT BREAKTHROUGH FOR INDEPENDENT INNOVATION OF CORE TECHNOLOGIES.”
The reaction to the news was huge. Bitcoin’s price went up by 13% and in China the word blockchain was searched for by 9 million people and 1 million typed Bitcoin into the search bar.
The speech, in essence, called for blockchain to be a part of the national strategy and this will surely mean even more projects in government, an even greater amount of companies springing up and will cement China’s place as the number one country in the world for blockchain technology.
Latest China Blockchain News
- China is using blockchain to settle court cases a report by Xinhua news has said. Various cities courts are reportedly using blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) with 3.1 million Chinese litigation activities settled between the months of March and October using the technology, with the system dubbed smart internet courts. One million citizens and 73,200 lawyers are registered with the smart court system.
Update: This post was updated to show the BSN 8/5/2020