Nanjing, the capital of the Chinese province Jiangsu, is setting up a 10 billion yuan ($1.48 billion) blockchain investment fund to support public blockchain projects in the country.
ZDNet reports that the new fund will be launched in cooperation with Zhongguancun Blockchain Industry Alliance, a Beijing-based organization formed by blockchain companies and government research institutes. The new project was announced at the Industrial Public Chain Summit (IPCS), which was attended by high-level functionaries of the Communist Party of China and Nanjing government officials.
The goal of the new fund is to support the development of new blockchain technologies for cross-border platforms, content, healthcare, energy, intellectual property, and environmental protection. According to the ZDNet report, China is currently the leader in the number of blockchain patents filed.
Among the first beneficiaries of the fund will be Universal Decentralized Asset Platform (UDAP), which is working on building “an internet of assets”, and the TokenX Community – a cryptocurrency and ICO trading platform.
Nanjing will also encourage blockchain companies to set up shop in the city.
China has had a love-hate relationship with cryptocurrencies and blockchain. For several years trading in cryptocurrencies was widely practiced. Last autumn, however, the Chinese government banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency trading.
A recent comment by Chinese president Xi Jinping at a meeting with local scientists and engineers, where he called the blockchain a breakthrough technology, gave hope that the government might soften its hard stance on the industry.
Despite the tough position on the matter, however, blockchain technology is flourishing in China. A recent publication of The South China Morning Post claimed that over 4000 companies in the country have “blockchain” in their name and more than 16 000 businesses are using the technology in one way or another.
Nanjing is a city in eastern China, with a population of over 8 million residents. It is the home of a large number of industries, mainly in the services sector, but also has a robust technological sector and several high-tech industrial zones.