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Blockchain in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has once again hit the headlines of financial news in China, for the country unveiled the outline development plan for the Greater Bay Area on Feb.18.

With less than 1 per cent of China’s land area and 5 per cent of its population, the Greater Bay Area (shortened for GBA hereinafter), consisting of 9 cities in Guangdong province and adjacent metropolitan regions Hong Kong and Macau, yielded more than 12 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2017, far exceeding that of the San Francisco Bay Area, and even “as rich as a country”- close to that of Russia which ranks 11th in the world in terms of GDP.

By 2035, the GBA should become an economic system and mode of development mainly supported by innovation, with its economic and technological strengths vastly increased and its international competitiveness and influence further strengthened, according to the plan.

As a nascent yet disruptive technology, blockchain was highlighted in the development of this world-class city cluster and has penetrated into fields such as finance, Internet of things, traceability, law, data, etc.

Differing from technologies like AI, VR, Big Data or cloud computing, blockchain shall be developed in an ecological system, rather than a single industry. It needs the support of computer technology, mathematical engineering and cryptography, also smart contract and node deployment; In addition, it also needs capital market, consultancy agencies and other supporting services.

The world’s largest crypto mining machine distribution hub is located in Shenzhen within the GBA, thousands of mining rigs from Bitmain, Canaan and MicroBT were shipped out starting from here; it also has the world’s largest concentration of BaaS (Blockchain-as-a-service) /SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) providers, including Hicloud BCS, Tencent TBaaS and PingAn FiMax. In terms of capital market, Venture capitals like INB Capital and Huobi Capital are there, not to mention the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Apart from that, a blockchain alliance seeking to accelerate the blockchain use in the real economy in the region has been launched last November.

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Considering the region’s open mind particularly Hong Kong where the regulatory sandbox there is accepting crypto exchanges’ applications and a blockchain platform for home buyers is being launched with the participation of Bank of China (Hong Kong), it is hopefully that the scene of massive blockchain adoption may be seen in this GBA first within the country.

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