China drafted its first blockchain plan as part of its five-year policy direction. The country currently has a nationwide ban on cryptocurrencies, but it has embraced blockchain technologies like AI and smart cities with enthusiasm.
The latest plan highlights China’s overall goals and priorities leading up to 2025. It also raises pressing economic problems, while emphasizing the use of technology deployment plans. As part of President Xi Jinping’s 2035 vision strategy, blockchain will play a changing role in China’s technological progress.
Speaking on blockchain, President Xi Jinping emphasized that it will play an important role in the next round of technological innovation and industrial transformation. According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), Xi’s speeches on blockchain and the technology around it have been successful. With the launch of a new blockchain program, the China BSN (blockchain service network) has been steadfast in promoting its own blockchain-based Internet system.
Blockchain for smart cities
Xi’s vision is China’s upcoming digital economy, which will “turn China into a global leader”. Many cities have been implementing blockchain as part of their “smart city” initiative. The combination of AI with cloud computing (such as AWS) and blockchain has allowed a number of cities to thrive over the past few years. For example, in 2016, China started building smart cities and even implemented a city ID system. In short, this allows for data connection and sharing between cities, all based on blockchain technology.
Last November, the Chinese Embassy in the US announced the launch of a health QR code for foreign passengers arriving in China. The code displays the green “HDC” mark after the evidence that Covid’s status is safe (and satisfactory overall health) has been reviewed and approved. The health code system is also powered by blockchain technology. It was originally established in the Guangdong and Macau provinces of China.
Cryptocurrencies are still not accepted
However, cryptocurrency adoption is still a gray area in China. Although China considers cryptocurrencies illegal, that has not prevented their citizens from trading and participating in cryptocurrencies. Weibo, a Chinese digital currency platform, has more than 500 million users. That number is now 5 times the entire population of Vietnam.
AI in China’s legal system
Under the same five-year initiative, Chinese courts are also upgrading their systems. The purpose of the courts is to integrate data analysis while storing evidence on the blockchain network. This will be China’s first AI-based legal system. Furthermore, China’s legal system has long worked to strengthen human rights protections. Properly storing evidence on the blockchain network makes change possible a step in the right direction impossible.
Overall, it appears that China is working to improve transparency. Its 5-year national blockchain plan is a step in the right direction. Ultimately it will make transparency doable for the benefit of its own citizens.