China praises blockchain, aims to be global science centre

China's central government has ordered local and financial authorities to speed up blockchain development.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that blockchain is a breakthrough technology accelerating the development of new applications. He has also emphasised the need for his country to focus on technological development to become the global centre of science and 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 in a speech earlier this week.

Beijing has reportedly effectively stopped all Bitcoin trading across the country and in September 2017, the State Council officially banned the sale of new altcoins through ICOs. “Since entering the 21st century, global science and technological innovation has entered into an unprecedented period of intensive activity,” Xi said. “A new round of scientific and industrial revolution is reconstructing the global innovation map and reshaping the global economic structure.”

Xi’s speech came afther China’s central government ordered local financial authorities and government-funded research centres to speed up development and commercialisation of blockchain technology to demonstrate the country can lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“We will vigourously develop financial technology and accelerate the research and application of Blockchain and Big Data technologies under the premise of legal compliance,” the State Council of China said on 24th May.

This year, Chinese authorities have funded multibillion-dollar initiatives to develop blockchain-based networks. In April, Hangzhou city officials poured $1.6 billion (£1.2 billion) into their Global Blockchain Innovation Fund to finance blockchain startups and development teams.

There are 71 such startups in China’s Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone, an area created in 2014 where technologies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution are being developed. There are about 445 blockchain startups in all of China.

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