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China launches national blockchain initiative to support smart cities and digital economy

Mon, 02 Dec 2019, 09:08 am UTC

The State Information Centre (SIC), China Mobile, and UnionPay jointly sponsored the first Blockchain Service Network Partner Conference on Dec. 01, according to local news outlets.

An announcement to establish the Blockchain Service Network Alliance (BSN) was made during the conference, along with the initial members joining the initiative. This includes Huobi China, China Merchants Bank International, China UnionPay, China Mobile, China Telecom, and WeBank.

The state-backed BSN is a national blockchain service infrastructure platform spanning public networks, regions, and institutions, Xinhua News reported. Planned by the SIC, the platform has been independently developed and deployed by China UnionPay and China Mobile.

“The deep integration and development of the digital economy, together with China Mobile, China UnionPay and other units, have initially completed a pilot deployment of a certain range of blockchain service networks across the country,” the official announcement reads (via online translation).

As per the details, the BSN is currently in its initial stages of establishment. It aims to leverage the knowledge and expertise of all parties in order to “better serve the strategic deployment of the national blockchain, and better lead the industry to achieve innovative development.”

One of the key focuses will be on how to use blockchain to “further promote data sharing, optimize business processes, reduce operating costs, improve collaboration efficiency, build a trusted system, and improve government governance capabilities, etc.” Other focus areas include strengthening technical research, boosting resource integration and creating development ecology.

Commenting on the collaborative effort, Shan Zhiguang, director of SIC’s Information and Industry Development Department, undertook the theme of "Blockchain Service Network (BSN): Trusted Public Infrastructure to Support Smart Cities and Digital Economy.” He proposed the "1 base 1 core" approach for the alliance chain architecture, with "supporting smart cities and the digital economy as its core, and featuring openness, publicity, scalability, open source, multi-portal, low cost, and autonomy."

The launch of this new initiative follows Chinese President Xi Jinping endorsing blockchain adoption in multiple sectors a couple of weeks ago. Meanwhile, reports have also surfaced about the fresh crackdown of cryptocurrency-related activities by Chinese authorities.

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