Cryptocurrencies changed the way we view transactions. With cryptocurrencies and its underlying blockchain technology, it has allowed transactions minus the presence of a third party. It becomes possible for individuals to transact without a central bank. And for this reason, a lot of countries reacted differently. There are those that welcomed the crypto-related and fintech businesses, while there are those that banned crypto-related activities.
China is one of those countries that chose to completely ban crypto-related activities. In 2017, during the time when the crypto market was bullish, China started its campaign against crypto-related activities. China banned ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges. In addition to this, there is also a witchhunt on crypto mining operations.
Recently, China renewed its campaign towards banning cryptocurrency-related activities completely. Social media events and news sites are among the newest target of this campaign.
Is China Pro-Blockchain?
However, China is accelerating its investment in technology. And also, it has announced that it is going to continuously develop the blockchain industry. The total investment technology since the second quarter of the year is already $3 billion.
And also, it is worth noting that in the past three months, China invested more than $3 billion in blockchain-focused funds. To send even more confusion, China even encouraged local investment firms, tech conglomerates, and even their own government agencies to follow this path and commercialize blockchain at a large scale.
Beijing-based investment firm BlockVC has been reported to be investing in 40 to 50 blockchain projects by the end of the year.
Xi Jinping considers blockchain technology as a breakthrough technology. And with the recent move by the country, it simply reaffirms this belief by their leader. Blockchain has the ability to increase transparency in systems in different industries whether in finance or in the supply chain sector.
These days, a lot of Chinese firms went after blockchain-related patent. Alibaba, for instance, has around 10% of the world’s blockchain patent applications. Internet giant Tencent and Baidu have 56% of the existing 406 worldwide patents to date.
China’s Central Bank has issued 68 patents in the last few years. It is followed by Alibaba, and Bank of America.
It isn’t exactly surprising how Alibaba is quite interested in blockchain. Jack Ma mentioned that “blockchain technology can help overcome the challenges of security, sustainability, and inclusion. It could change our world more than people can imagine”.
Other Countries’ Blockchain Initiative
There are also other countries that have initiated blockchain projects. In fact, Iran and Venezuela even created their own cryptocurrency. Venezuela’s Petro has been said to be backed by oil, one of the country’s prized natural resource. Both countries resorted to cryptocurrencies in order to solve economic problems and evade US sanctions.
Venezuela has been dealing with hyperinflation while Iran, on the other hand, is alarmed by the possible effects of US sanctions since Trump stepped out of the Iran Nuclear deal.
The bottom line is that it is not really common to see countries to go all out and push towards blockchain related initiatives. Considering the positive things it can create, it is possible to see more countries explore the industry even more.