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China is maintaining its hostile attitude towards activities related to crypto currencies while expressing a more open attitude towards blockchain.

China takes radical action

It’s no secret that China is determined to curb the crypto currency industry while preparing to dominate the blockchain scene. At the end of August, 124 websites operated by offshore crypto exchanges were closed. The move took place around the same time that hotels and shopping malls were banned from organizing or promoting events in support of virtual currencies.

Last September, government officials banned ICOs and called on local stock exchanges to cease their activities. But China’s attitude to blockchain technology is quite different.

China’s blockchain strategy

In a speech to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, President Xi Jinping announced the blockchain as part of the “new industrial revolution”. A Jingdata report found that the January blockchain-related project funding ($100 million) had already outperformed the 2016 full-year allocations ($70 million).

At the moment, civil servants and institutions from the private sector, national government, local government and academia are focusing on projects related to the development of the blockchain. Last month alone, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said it supported the creation of a blockchain trade finance platform, while the Supreme People’s Court confirmed that the blockchain will be allowed to store and review digital evidence.

The Bank of China also hopes to use the blockchain to revise its cloud-based poverty reduction system. The aim is to improve public relations for poor citizens in the autonomous region of Tibet. If the efforts are successful, the Bank hopes that the same model can be applied to other poor areas such as Gansu and Yunan.

Geopolitical impact of the blockchain

Overall, blockchain technology could gain importance throughout China due to fragmented logistics and supply chain systems. So far, a number of solutions have shown no positive impact, making use cases attractive for blockchain.

However, China’s policy on blockchain and crypto currency could also be part of a broad geopolitical strategy. Despite the relatively open attitude towards blockchain, many Chinese companies are staying away from the industry due to ambiguities about compliance with government regulations.

Although the government wants to publish hard and fast blockchain standards by the end of 2019, some, such as PBOC Senior Counselor Sheng Soncheng, insist that blockchain technology must stay away from the financial sector.

Much of the success of top Chinese companies like Alibaba relies on government safeguards that prevent American giants like Facebook from entering and disrupting the market.

About China

The People’s Republic of China is the largest country in East Asia. One fifth of the world’s population lives here. A third of them live in the plains of the East. Further names for the PR China are the outdated term Red China and the mainland China (Mainland China), which is mainly spoken in English.

The People’s Republic of China was classified as a developing country until the 1990s, but since its partial opening after the “Cultural Revolution” it has increasingly developed into a great power. It represents the “one-China policy” internationally, the official recognition of which it has enforced in the West since the early 1970s. China’s economy is currently highly dynamic, so that the current five-year plan already provides for a reduction in any overheating. In order to curb rapid population growth, the one-child policy applies, although this has been moderated in recent years. In recent decades, population growth has levelled off from above 3 % to below 1 %.