The Chinese government has announced a country-wide initiative to explore and develop various use cases for blockchain technology.
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) wrote in an announcement that it would be calling on 164 different government entities across 15 zones to promote the development of blockchain technology and infrastructure.
Development will take place in fields “determined by local and departmental recommendations, expert review, and online publicity,” per the note.
The pilot programs will include development in areas like state-run data sharing, education, trade finance, energy, law enforcement, taxation, criminal trials, and equity markets.
“All pilot units (regions) should give priority to adopting blockchain software and hardware technologies and products that are interoperable and capable of sustainable development; actively guide blockchain applications to develop in the direction of value, scale, and industrialization; accelerate relevant technologies and application standards; encourage pilot units (regions) to carry out in-depth cooperation with research institutions, leading enterprises, experts and scholars in related fields, and strengthen the cultivation and training of talent teams.”
The CAC said that various government bodies will organize “relevant units and experts” to provide guidance on the planning and construction of the pilot.
China’s interest in blockchain technology contrasts against its hard stance against cryptocurrency. In September, the country issued a blanket-ban on all crypto-related transactions, coinciding with a 23% correction in Bitcoin (BTC).
“Virtual currency-related business activities are illegal financial activities,” the People’s Bank of China said, warning it “seriously endangers the safety of people’s assets”.
Despite the crypto ban, the Chinese government is also taking a hard look at the non-fungible token (NFT) space.
At the beginning of this year, the Blockchain Services Network (BSN), a state-owned blockchain company, announced plans for rolling out infrastructure that would allow individuals and businesses to mint, buy and sell NFTs.
He Yifan, CEO of Red Date Technology, a company giving technical support to BSN, said that while NFTs are mainly being used for digital art, the biggest market will be in certificate management, such as car license plates or school diplomas as it is “revolutionary database technology” that differentiates different parties’ access to data.
“In NFT-based vehicle plate management, the car owner, government and insurer each have access to data such as mileage, engine number and repair history, and each is aware of the others’ rights, He said.”