Chinese Blockchain Research Centre to Launch Soon, Could Crypto Make a Comeback in China?

Estimated read time 3 min read
  • The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology approves the construction of China’s first Blockchain Technology Innovation Centre.
  • Despite a ban on cryptocurrencies, China sees blockchain as a critical part of its digital infrastructure.

The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology green flags the development of its National Blockchain Technology Innovation Centre in Beijing to run Blockchain research.

The center will be led by the Microchip Research Institute, Beijing Academy of Blockchain and Edge Computing, a research and development institution backed by the Beijing government.

The research hub’s prime objectives circle around researching the technology for industrial applications as well as the methods of application in the national economy, per state media reported by the South China Morning Post.

Additionally, the center will handle the industrialization of blockchain technology which entails fundamental theories, both hardware and software development, and the construction of blockchain platforms. Adding to the list the hub plans to collaborate with domestic universities, as well as research institutes and businesses.

The news comes despite China reaffirming its ban on cryptocurrency trading in September 2021. China also clamped on crypto mining with miners across provinces like Mongolia told to shut up shop. While crypto mining came under specific fire for most of 2022, China’s efforts to ban crypto trading began back in 2017.

Despite the strict limits on private citizens, some of the largest Chinese firms are still making significant inroads in terms of building out blockchain-based products.

Firms such as Alibaba, one of the world’s largest tech firms by market capitalization, announced a collaboration with Avalanche blockchain to power node-as-a-service initiatives in December 2022.

NFTs are another sector that the Chinese government has shown interest in as well.

China has been actively marketing itself as a blockchain nation in recent years. In September 2022, its government claimed that China accounts for 84% of all blockchain applications filed worldwide. While the real numbers might not differ much, the approval rate is low, with only 19% of the total filed applications getting approved.

In December 2022, the country announced the launch of the “China Digital Asset Trading Platform.” The state-backed digital collectible marketplace is also expected to run on a native blockchain.

A former executive of the People’s Bank of China recently urged the country to review its stringent crypto restrictions. The former official argued that a permanent ban on crypto could result in many missed opportunities for the formal financial system, including those related to blockchain and tokenization.

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