China is not prepared to play second fiddle to any nation in the race for being number one in the blockchain industry.
From established companies to startup enterprises and even government, the general narrative in the country is one of maximizing the immense potential of the emerging technology. All of these efforts come despite the country’s crackdown on the cryptocurrency market. The Asian nation is firmly sold on blockchain even with a massive spike in blockchain firms recorded in the country in 2017. Stakeholders are urging for more concerted efforts to build on the achievements so far to establish China’s dominance in the blockchain industry.
One Main Blockchain
Chen Lei, the CEO of Xunlei, predicts that one major blockchain will emerge from the industry to dominate all other blockchains. Xunlei as a company has made some strides in the blockchain space. OneThing Technologies, a subsidiary of the company recently launched ThunderChain, a high-speed decentralized platform. Speaking at a government-sponsored blockchain summit in Beijing on May 21, 2018, Lei urged the government to encourage the growth and development of the country’s nascent blockchain industry.
There have been significant government investments in blockchain technology so far. In April 2017, the city of Hangzhou launched a $1.6 billion fund to support development efforts in the blockchain field. According to reports, it is the largest blockchain investment fund anywhere in the world.
The Chinese Government Blockchain White Paper
During the summit, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information technology revealed that 40 percent of the total number of blockchain firms in the country were established in 2017. This information was contained in a blockchain industry white paper presented by the ministry. A look at the breakdown in the report shows that there are 456 blockchain startups in the country out of which 178 were created in 2017 alone. The ministry also revealed that China is becoming a significant force in the global blockchain industry. The 157-page report included some information from the first quarter of 2018. According to the report, 68 new financing initiatives were recorded in the first quarter of the year.
China Chooses Blockchain and Not Crypto
If China is to dominate the blockchain scene, then the country will have to knock the United States from its perch at the apex of the technology. China also faces stiff competition from fellow Asian nations; Japan and South Korea. Of the four countries mentioned, China has the strictest cryptocurrency policies. In fact, ICOs and crypto trading are prohibited in the country. Since September 2017 when ICOs and exchange platforms were banned, the government has been putting concerted efforts to crackdown entirely on the market. As a result, many crypto entrepreneurs have been forced to move to other countries.
For people like Zhang Lei of Yeecall, China’s crypto crackdown does not put the country at a disadvantage in the greater scheme of things regarding blockchain technology. Zhang referred to ICOs as “fluff,” with blockchain being the custodian of the true value-creating potential in the emerging digital ecosystem.