China to launch national blockchain research center

China to launch national blockchain research center

Despite its ongoing crackdown on crypto, China continues to embrace blockchain technology — up to the point of launching the National Blockchain Technology Innovation Center in the capital city of Beijing. 

According to the China Daily’s report from Feb. 8, the Center will create a research network with the local universities, think tanks and blockchain businesses to carry out the inquiries into core blockchain technologies. The fruits of this research will be used for further digitalization of China and, as emphasized in the report, its industry in particular.

In charge of the new institution is the Beijing Academy of Blockchain and Edge Computing (BABEC) — an entity most famous for the development of Chang’an Chain or ChainMaker blockchain. This blockchain is already backed by an ecosystem of 50 business corporations, most of them — such as China Construction Bank or China Unicom — owned by the state. By the press time, the known number of transactions per second (TPS) that the ChainMaker can execute is 240 million — up from 100,000 TPS in 2021.

Related: Chinese Communist Party officials issue KPIs for e-CNY transactions in Suzhou

China has been actively marketing itself as a blockchain nation in recent years. In September 2022, its government claimed that China accounts for 84% of all blockchain applications filed worldwide. While the real numbers might not differ much, the approval rate is significantly low, with only 19% of the total filed applications getting approved.

Along with the blockchain, the project of central bank digital currency (CBDC) became the trademark of the Chinese government. Millions of dollars worth of e-CNY have been handed out across the country in a bid to boost its adoption. However, cumulative e-CNY transactions only crossed 100 billion yuan ($14 billion) in October 2022.

With all the efforts to catch on with the digital innovations, recently, a former executive of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) urged the country to review its stringent crypto restrictions. The former official argued that a permanent ban on crypto could result in many missed opportunities for the formal financial system, including those related to blockchain and tokenization.