China-based companies have become much more willing to link their business with cryptocurrency technology, namely blockchain, according to a report by Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Tuesday. Through mid-July this year, the number of entities that registered with the word ‘blockchain’ in their official names was six times greater than in the whole of 2017.
Based on information from data aggregator Qixin.com, SCMP revealed that currently there are more than 4,000 firms with blockchain in their names. Most of the companies tend to bet on the Chinese language version of blockchain, the word ‘qukualian’. For example, in 2017, 555 entities used qukualian and the number surged to 3,078 from January 1 through July 16 of this year.
In the US, 817 companies now use the word blockchain and in the UK the number is also lower compared to China, at 335.
The Chinese blockchain mania is not limited to the registration names. In the past twelve months, the country filed 225 blockchain-related patent applications which is more than 50% of all on the global level for 2017, according to the World Intellectual Patent Organisation.
Blockchain as a business category was included in 16,600 companies in China. More than 3,800 of them had registered capital above $1.5 million.
The Asian country has a different approach towards cryptocurrency and blockchain. Last year, the country banned digital coin trading and several exchanges transferred their businesses to the autonomous region of Hong Kong or to neighboring countries.
In May this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping praised blockchain as a ‘breakthrough’ technology that can help the country to become global center of innovation.
“A new generation of technology represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information, mobile communications, internet of things and blockchain is accelerating breakthrough applications," he said Monday, according to a translation of his remarks,” Jinping said.
Blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), has been broadened in its usage to various industries such as financial services, agriculture and health.