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It’s Blockchain, Not Bitcoin for China Again

In the wake of a crackdown on Bitcoin-related activities in China, including mining operations, the Chinese government on Monday June 7 issued a policy to reiterate its support for the blockchain technology.

The top cryptocurrency has been under immense pressure of late with some of its China-based miners having to migrate to eastern Europe – like BTCM investing in Kazakhstan (Canaan this week announced it established its first overseas after-sales service center in Kazakhstan too). Yet, the Chinese government renewed its interest in the developing technology stating its plans to accelerate blockchain technology applications and industries in a new guidance from its tech ministry.

The guidance, which was made public this week but dated May 27, came from the Office of the Central Committee on Cybersecurity and Information Technology of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Based on the guiding ideology put forward by the Chinese premiere, Xi Jinping, and his new era of socialist thought, they see Blockchain as a solution to the trust and security problems in cyberspace, the promotion of the Internet from the transmission of information to the transfer of value change, reconstruct the information industry system.

Some of the opinions put forward to achieve the acceleration include reiterating China’s plans to promote the integration and development of the technology and Internet, big data and artificial intelligence to build an advanced blockchain industry system.

China seeks to build a win-win industrial system with a continuous improvement of the industrial ecology. It will also aim to build large-scale applications using blockchain as an important breakthrough in core technology independent innovation and based on a promoted multi-party collaboration.

The goal is to see the strength of the blockchain industry reach the world’s advanced level by 2025 with a few internationally-competitive backbone enterprises and continue to improve and further expand the industrial scale through 2030.

The guidance touches on the intended role of the blockchain technology in various facets of the Chinese system including for improving public services such as digital identity, data storage and urban governance. It will serve for supply chain management, product traceability in various sectors and data sharing including data related to government affairs.

Among other things, the technology will also help deepen international exchanges and cooperation, the ministry states, citing a focus on the “Belt and Road” strategic deployment to enhance the level of cross border development.

China had earlier made its stance about blockchain known in 2019 when the premiere somewhat endorsed the emerging technology. However, despite being the underlying technology for Bitcoin, China’s dislike for the top cryptocurrency doesn’t seem to have changed even with the new guidance. Like the current legal and regulatory system, its development plans for blockchain technology are still not likely to have anything to do with Bitcoin.

Several reasons have been given as to why cryptocurrencies may not mix with China’s blockchain agenda anytime soon. One of such is the claim that China’s proposed Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DC/EP) is reportedly on the path to being used on China’s cross-framework global infrastructure, the Blockchain Service Network (BSN), launched in 2020.

During a recent BSN webinar series Long Story Short, David Shin, the CEO of Tezos (Apac), said the DC/EP running like the gas on the BSN platform has always been a part of the strategy for the government to generate revenue as dApps from all over the world get deployed on the network.

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