The Chinese government has had a keen eye on distributed ledger technology for quite some time. Now the government of Nanjing City has granted a blockchain startup Bankledger 1.5 million yuan, according to regional publication and forum 8btc.com. The grant represents the country’s first local government-funded blockchain project. The fact of the matter is — China is dominating the Blockchain and Bitcoin industry.
Blockchain and Bitcoin Popularity Is Rising Across China
Many government officials in China have been focused on the benefits of blockchain technology due to worldwide hype. The 1.5 million yuan ($220,000 USD) is part of Nanjing City, capital of Jiangsu province, efforts to bolster local startups.
Bankledger’s website says it’s a blockchain-based cloud project that can issue digital assets, enable smart contracts, and perform transactions in real-time. In an exclusive interview with 8btc the CEO of Bankledger, Dr. Shentu Qingchun said the funds are just a gift from the government and the company’s ownership is not challenged. Dr. Shentu detailed to 8btc that the company applied back in March for the grant, and the CEO is extremely pleased Nanjing City has noticed blockchain technology.
PBOC Wants To Hire Blockchain Experts
The Peoples Bank of China (PBOC), the country’s central bank, has been interested in creating its own digital currency for a few years now. In the first week of November, the PBOC published an ad looking for blockchain experts. The employment ad stated the bank had six openings for those with a strong understanding of emerging technology like cryptocurrency. Those hired for the job would work on research and development of blockchain related software.
Back in 2014, PBOC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan stated the bank had created an R&D effort for a centralized cryptocurrency. However, Xiaochuan explained the project had no definitive timeline, according to his discussion with Caixin Magazine. In the interview, Xiaochuan detailed that he believes digital currencies will replace physical notes in the future.
“The PBOC has studied digital currencies for a long time,” explained PBOC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan. “History shows that currency has evolved abreast of technological advances and development of economic activities. The evolution from early-stage physical currency and commodity currency to the later credit currency was a result adapting to the development of commercial society. Paper money, as the last generation currency, lacks high-tech support, and it is an irresistible trend that paper money will be replaced by new products and new technologies with greater security and lower costs.”
Chinese Investors Looking to Blockchain
Meanwhile, as Chinese investors and banks look towards transforming the financial landscape with distributed ledgers, Bitcoin’s blockchain remains quite popular. Of all the blockchains in the world, Bitcoin has a pretty big role within Chinese borders. Nearly 70 percent of the network’s hashrate is coming from Chinese mining pools, and the country dominates when it comes to transaction volume. Whenever the price value of Bitcoin is rising or falling typically, spectators point to China.
Even the government seems more permissive towards bitcoin usage, despite all the rumors over the years. Recently Bitcoin.com reported on the two-day government hosted blockchain conference in China. The First World Blockchain Conference in Changsha saw Ji Xiaonan, of China’s State-Owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission, state Bitcoin is “the only mature blockchain technology today.”
Bitcoin and blockchain growth is sure to expand as the country’s investors have poured significant sums of money into these technologies. This past summer Chinese investors injected $60 million into the bitcoin-based startup Circle Financial. Additionally, Bitcoin has created large mining facilities across the region and ASIC manufacturers are producing mining equipment. There is a lot of money flowing into both blockchain and Bitcoin-related markets coming from China.
As local governments like Nanjing City give grants to blockchain startups like Bankledger and the PBOC hiring blockchain talent, it’s safe to say China digs this technology. However, with all these technological innovations many questions remain. Will a privatized Chinese blockchain from entities like the PBOC be compatible with the public ones? The Bitcoin public network is thriving in China but can it flourish if government clamps down on its use? Whatever the case may be, these emerging technologies are creating a significant economic stimulus in the country.
What do you think about China’s role with blockchain technology and Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.
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Local Chinese Government Helps Fund Blockchain Startup