With its presence in the Bitcoin mining industry firmly established, China has now taken a bold step forward, gaining a foothold in the territory of blockchain research and development.
On the evening of April 19 at the Third Internet Finance Global Summit in Beijing, Bai Shuo, former chief engineer of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, announced the first general assembly of the ChinaLedger Alliance, a non-profit institution that aims to promote the use of distributed ledger technology in China.
According to a statement, “The primary task of the ChinaLedger Alliance is to research and develop distributed ledger technology solutions with the specific parameters of Chinese regulatory framework in mind.”
The Alliance has invited blockchain experts outside of China to act as advisors: Tim Swanson, R3 Director of Market Research; Vitalik Buterin, Founder of Ethereum; Jeff Garzik, Bitcoin core developer and Co-Founder & CEO of Bloq; and Anthony Di Iorio, Chief Digital Officer of Toronto Stock Exchange, CEO & Founder of Decentral, and Co-Founder of Ethereum. Bai will hold the position of Director of Technology Committee for the Alliance.
“China has taken a front-seat approach to blockchains and digital currency,” Garzik said in correspondance with BTCMANAGER. “When I visited China in January, the PBOC announced it was exploring digital currency, presumed by many to be an ‘RMBcoin.’ My most recent visit to Beijing and Shanghai noted pace of innovation and level of blockchain interest increased even more since January.”
“China is uniquely positioned right now,” Di Iorio said to BTCMANAGER. “Innovation in blockchain technology has the potential to really flourish there due to its fairly free regulatory environment.” He noted that while China has a strong mining community, it has yet to make the same sort of inroads on the financial side of the industry. This is an area where he expects that he and other Western advisors will be able to offer insights.
Fintech moves fast in China. If legacy financial players are able to start working with these new blockchain and other technologies, they will have the opportunity to become global leaders.
Anthony Di Iorio
In his address, Bai stated that China is open and willing to embrace this new technology, and will actively undertake research and development, in order to build an “Internet of Value” for organizations. In other words, using the interconnectivity of blockchain technology, “value” can be easily transmitted between parties.
Furthermore, he acknowledged that the implementation of blockchain technology must align with the unique business and legal environment in China, so that outcomes are in compliance with Chinese regulatory standards and policies.
Ultimately, the goal of ChinaLedger’s shared initiative is to create an open-source blockchain protocol that developers can further build upon in the future.
Chinese businesses and the government want to be at the forefront of innovation, and blockchain is one area where Asia may move faster than the US or EU.
Currently, the Alliance consists of 11 members with diverse backgrounds, including commodity exchanges, equity exchanges, and financial asset exchanges. Wanxiang Blockchain Labs, which has been an active contributor to the blockchain community globally, will be the main engine leading the consortium.
Notably, the Internet Securities Commission of the Securities Association of China (SAC) will act in an advisory capacity in this initiative. SAC is an industrial self-regulatory organization and is subject to the professional guidance and supervision of the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Due to its unique position, the SAC plays a significant role in the compliance and regulatory framework of the Chinese security industry.