China Aims to Lead in Blockchain Adoption in Real Economy

Despite China's ban on cryptocurrency trading, the adoption of blockchain in the country is accelerating, with Beijing aiming to emerge as a top player.

A new white paper released by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) underscores the country’s ambition to take the lead in adopting blockchain technology in the real economy.

The white paper states that Beijing has expedited the draft of the first national standard for blockchain adoption. According to the document, there is a complete industrial chain built around the nascent technology.

China’s official mouthpiece, the Xinhua news agency, said:

“By the end of March 2018, there were 456 blockchain technology companies in the country, forming a complete industrial chain, including hardware manufacturing, platform services, security services, industrial technology application services, investment and financing, media and human resources services.”

Yu Jianing, director of MIIT’s Institute of Industrial Economics, said the government expects blockchain to be widely integrated into some critical sectors within the next three years, including copyright protection, precision marketing, energy, bill verification, product traceability, and healthcare.

Blockchain applications

Among the many advantages of blockchain technology is its decentralized ledger, which allows data to be shared in a distributed network of computers, thus eliminating the need for intermediaries in transactions. More importantly, any data shared within a blockchain cannot be altered.

Yu, co-author of the study, commented:

"Blockchain tech's adoption into the real economy will make cross-industry digital collaboration a reality, which can reduce operation costs and improve efficiency.”

According to Yu, blockchain-enabled food traceability could play an essential role in facilitating collaboration among retailers, producers, and processors in the food industry.

"Blockchain tech can establish a reliable platform for government supervision of food safety while improving life quality of Chinese and even global consumers," Yu said.

Rapid growth

The white paper says China's blockchain industry is in a period of rapid development, with entrepreneurs and capital continuing to increase and the number of enterprises involved in the technology also growing strongly.

In addition, internet giants are actively deploying in the blockchain field to promote the development of the industry. Many local governments have designated blockchain technology as a top priority, and the policy system and regulatory framework have been gradually improved.

The white paper adds:

“The application of blockchain has been accelerated, and a new round of business model changes has been promoted. This has resulted in cost reduction and improvement of efficiency for the real economy, construction of an integrity industrial environment, boosting the development of high-quality traditional industries, and accelerating industrial transformation and upgrading.”