Having firmly established itself as a leading world power and home to technological innovations, China has now set its eyes on the blockchain as it intends to develop its own blockchain standards, which doesn’t come as a surprise. The Chinese government is a powerful economic force and has recognized the fact that initiating policies that create an environment which favors the emergence and invention of new technologies will not only bolster its economic capabilities but will also solidify its position as a global power.
Blockchain technology is not an original Chinese invention, but with its numerous potential applications and its ability to disrupt nearly every sector, China knows that it must pay close attention to blockchain technologies. As the technology continues to grow rapidly and receive widespread adoption, China has decided to set guidelines that will govern blockchain development and usage in the country.
Developing Blockchain Standards
For China, blockchain must evolve within a specialized framework; this has led the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to place the development of blockchain standards at the top of its agenda for 2018. Since this announcement, the agency has been relentlessly pushing initiatives to ensure that China stays ahead of others in regards to blockchain development. It was reported that they studied Australia’s blockchain standardization efforts and learned from their experience in an effort to reproduce their success for developing China’s blockchain standard.
According to the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China believes it will have its national blockchain standards committee ready before the year ends. The committee’s structure will leverage the existing framework of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) technical committee TC 307 which focuses on setting global standards for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.
Despite being a participating member of the ISO, China still seeks to be independent of the body by building its own standardization for blockchain. During a keynote speech at the 2018 Guiyang Big Data Expo, the urgency for the development of China’s blockchain standard was reiterated by Li Ying, head of the IT ministry’s information and software department:
“We have been working closely with the ISO and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). We should soon have our national technical committee for blockchain standardization ready within this year.”
The Chinese Blockchain Powerhouse
Considering that China holds the world’s record for the largest number of blockchain patents, has an approved budget of $1.6 billion to fund blockchain initiatives, and is rumored to be developing its own digital currency, the country is clearly positioning itself as a global force for blockchain technology advancements.
This willingness to embrace blockchain was recently echoed by China’s President Xi Jinping, who acknowledged the tremendous potential of the technology for the first time while speaking at the annual academic conference hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences:
“Ever since the start of the 21st century, a new generation of industrial revolution is substantially reshaping the global economic structure … with artificial intelligence, internet of things and blockchain constantly making application breakthroughs.”
With the success of multi-billion dollar corporations like Alibaba and Tencent, China has successfully dominated the e-commerce industry, gobbling up an outstanding 42% of the global e-commerce market. With its fiery interest in blockchain technologies, it appears that China is determined to replicate this success especially now that the blockchain industry is still in its developmental stages. Successfully implementing national blockchain standards will go a long way to enhance innovation, build trust and acceptance, and stimulate faster interoperability. These merits will attract more investors and entrepreneurs into the industry and will help establish China as a global leader in blockchain development.