State-led blockchain technology development
The Chinese government has set up a research institute specializing in blockchain technology, the “National Blockchain Technology Innovation Center,” in the capital city of Beijing, aiming to train 500,000 blockchain experts. The South China Morning Post (SCMP), a local media outlet, quoted the state-run Xinhua News Agency on the 10th.
China’s Ministry of Science and Technology approved the establishment of the BC Technology Innovation Center in February. The center will focus on the basic theory of blockchain and the fields of software and hardware, aiming to develop related major technologies and industrial applications. The center also plans to work closely with universities, research institutes and related companies to promote the development of blockchain and Web3 industries in China.
According to the SCMP, the center will also connect existing blockchains that are currently operating independently in the country, with a view to building a comprehensive blockchain network across China.
Professor Zheng Zhiming of Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics argued that connecting blockchain application platforms and consolidating ecosystems can enhance the technology’s innovation capabilities and core competitiveness. He said one of the goals of establishing the center is to build a network at the national level.
Domestic blockchain “ChainMaker”
The BC Technology Innovation Center will be led by the Beijing Academy of Blockchain and Edge Computing (BABEC), which is backed by the Beijing Municipal Government. It is developing “ChainMaker” (Chang’an Chain), which is expected to function as a basic model at the center.
ChainMaker is said to have the support of 50 companies and organizations, including well-known companies such as China Construction Bank and China Unicom. Beijing also announced in January that it had loaded the information of more than 80 government departments on ChainMaker, successfully “effectively improving the security and order of government work and social data.”
In its 2020 “Beijing Blockchain Innovation Development Action Plan (2020-2022),” the city of Beijing announced that the city will aim to become a hub for blockchain innovation by 2022.
Virtual currency ban policy continues
In China, in 2019, President Xi Jinping said that blockchain would be an important next-generation innovative technology and called for promoting its research and development.
After that, China’s State Council announced a five-year plan in 2021. It has a history of working on blockchain research and development at the national level, including positioning blockchain as one of the seven major development areas of China’s digital economy.
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On the other hand, the Chinese government will ban the transaction of crypto assets (virtual currency), which is the biggest use case of blockchain, in 2021. The establishment of the BC Technology Innovation Center is seen as part of a plan by the Chinese government to promote industrial use of blockchain beyond cryptocurrencies.
In the guidelines for virtual currency litigation announced by the Chinese Supreme Court, it states that “virtual currency has the property of virtual property on the network” and recognizes the “property nature” of virtual currency.
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