by Cindy Huynh
Chinese President Xi Jinping mentioned in a speech that blockchain has “breakthrough applications” at a meeting of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering on May 28.
According to the CNBC, President Xi Jinping stated at the Chinese Academy of Science’s annual conference, “a new generation of technology represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information, mobile communications, internet of things and blockchain is accelerating breakthrough applications.”
The President of China also focused on the economy becoming an international center of science and innovation in the global economy.
While the Government appears bullish on blockchain technology, China has halted cryptocurrency trading domestically. In September 2017, China also banned initial coin offerings and cracked down on all cryptocurrency exchanges. As a result, many cryptocurrency exchanges moved to Hong Kong. Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges had even moved to Malta as a result of the cryptocurrency crackdown.
However, despite the cryptocurrency crackdown and ICO ban, China is a booming hub for blockchain startups. Some startups have even partnered with the Chinese government to foster further research for the emerging technology.
“In China, blockchain’s still developing, really great,” said Albert Xuan, a project manager at Liaoyuan, an incubator and consulting firm for startups. Xuan mentioned that approximately 100 to 200 people went from China to New York in early May to attend Liaoyuan’s conference “Blockchain without borders” which attracted approximately 650 people.
Chinese President Looks to Accelerate China’s Scientific and Technological Innovations
Before endorsing blockchain technology, President Xi Jinping stated that “since entering the 21st century, global scientific and technological innovation has entered an unprecedented period of intensive activity. A new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial changes are reconstructing the global innovation map and reshaping the global economic structure.”
Blockchain technology was mentioned as one of the technologies that the Chinese government endorsed. However, it appears as though China is looking to accelerate development on all kinds of technologies.
As reported by The Next Web, The Chinese Government is also looking to “accelerate breakthrough in application and bred new life science fields represented by synthetic biology, gene editing, brain science, and regenerative medicine.”
China appears to be moving quickly into blockchain technology. In March, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization, China had filed more than half of the 406 blockchain patent applications. Of the top nine companies that filed blockchain patents from 2012 to 2017, six of them were Chinese.
The Online Community Appears Divided on the Chinese President’s Endorsement
The online cryptocurrency community as seen on Reddit appears to be divided over Chinese President Xi Jinping’s comments.
Despite Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech, many from the community appear skeptical of the president’s endorsement. Reddit user Editfiler stated that “as much as I wish for that to be true, I think unless we get an official confirmation, we shouldn’t get our hopes too high. I would hate for everyone to expect this to be reality and when it’s not, everyone goes sour.”
User Political Shrapnel, however, responded “Why are people surprised? Their state-owned cigarette monopoly, State Tobacco and China Tobacco Corp, and food distributor Bright Foods, and a subsidiary of Linang Group, have all partnered with a blockchain (VeChain). Expect far more to come.”