Suzhou Signs MOU with Cypherium to Develop the City’s Blockchain Infrastructure
Another major blockchain development plan is underway in China, this time in the city of Suzhou. According to an official announcement from Cypherium, an enterprise-level blockchain platform, the company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Suzhou City Municipality. The partnership between the two entities stipulates that Cypherium will be a key player in contributing to the technical development of blockchain infrastructure in the city.
After conducting a hugely successful trial of using China’s upcoming central bank digital currency (DCEP) as a payment method, the city of Suzhou decided to invest more resources into the burgeoning new technology.
Cypherium’s MOU with the city municipality was signed during the 12th Venture Week for International Elites in Suzhou in mid-July. The goal of the “Suzhou International Elite Week” is to facilitate the transformation of the city into an epicenter of innovation, especially regarding new technologies such as blockchain.
“Suzhou is moving towards its ambition to become a leading blockchain district, especially with CBDCs gaining momentum around the world,” said Sky Guo, the CEO of Cypherium. He highlighted the fact that there are currently several major DCEP trials taking place in the city of Suzhou as extremely important for the company. With a large part of Suzhou’s workers set to receive part of their upcoming transportation subsidies in the largely experimental DCEP, Guo said that interoperability will be one of the most determining factors in the success of blockchain projects in the region.
This is especially important given the fact that during this year’s Venture Week, 2061 innovation and entrepreneurship projects were presented, which includes 977 international and 1084 domestic projects. It’s no wonder why Suzhou is considered to be one of the most competitive cities in China—data has shown that the city’s regional GDP exceeded 1.85 trillion yuan in 2018. This is partly why Suzhou was chosen to be one of a handful of cities that would be testing China’s DCEP. Aside from distributing DCEP through transportation subsidies, several Chinese state-owned banks have been conducting internal tests of the digital yuan in the city.
The MOU was signed by Solomon Zhang, the CTO of Cypherium, and Dean Gong, a representative of the Municipal Party Committee. It will mark the beginning of a very important period in Suzhou’s development, as the city’s competitive business environment is a perfect testing ground for a project as massive as China’s CBDC.
Cypherium’s experience in providing infrastructure to complex projects will also come in handy. The company offers a hybrid blockchain solution, combining two consensus mechanisms—proof-of-work (PoW) and HotStuff, which is currently being used by Facebook’s upcoming Libra project. Its partnerships with global tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM will be important when developing the cross-chain interoperability solution for China’s DCEP. If successful, not only would it be the first of its kind, but it would also enable various other central bank digital currencies to communicate with each other.