China Views Blockchain as Cornerstone of Its Economic Development
Despite the ban on cryptocurrencies, China regards blockchain as the foundational technology essential for its economy's future. There, DLT projects enjoy the full backing of regulatory authorities and the Communist Party of China.
Beijing is the epicenter of digital economic advancement in China. In 2022, the digital economy of Beijing accounted for 1,733 billion yuan in added value, making up 41.6% of the regional GDP. The blockchain market itself was valued at approximately 35 billion yuan, constituting about 39% of the total valuation of all Chinese technology companies.
For 2023, these figures are expected to increase, as the government has prioritized the development of technologies based on distributed ledgers until 2030.
We've previously covered how blockchain is utilized in China and the fact that even the metaverse is considered here primarily for its industrial potential.
Guanguan.com, a Chinese news source, recently reported the launch of a pilot zone in Beijing for the national blockchain network hub. This initiative aims to establish a new infrastructure for data exchange and circulation, potentially scalable across the country. This infrastructure will comprise:
- A data registration platform;
- A valuation platform for state and private assets;
- A data platform;
- A transaction node;
- A management platform for state digital assets (potentially alluding to the digital yuan).
The national DLT will store:
- Medical records of citizens (Doctor-patient confidentiality? More like public domain!);
- Details about cultural tourism (basically, a comprehensive log of every foreigner stepping foot in China);
- Driver misconduct records;
- Comprehensive taxpayer financials (individual and corporate);
- Social insurance details;
- Complete civil status information (births, deaths, divorces, name changes, etc.);
- Property rights data (including those beyond the Great Wall, because why limit to just one country?);
- State transport logistics info.
By 2030, the total data volume at Beijing’s central node is projected to reach 100 petabytes, with the monthly transaction volume processed by the state network expected to be no less than 10 billion yuan, and the data processing industry’s value likely to surpass 100 billion yuan.
These figures are impressive, yet they reflect the ambitions set by the Communist Party of China, suggesting a part of the narrative about China’s stride towards global digital development leadership.
The project description for the national blockchain network presently omits mention of digital citizen identification, but it's reasonable to assume that a comprehensive monitoring system is part of the grand plan, reminiscent of Orwellian foresight.