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China’s state-backed Blockchain Service Network to launch in April

Thu, 09 Jan 2020, 05:52 am UTC

China’s national blockchain network is slated to launch in April 2020, Cointelegraph reported citing a report from Sina Finance.

Called the Blockchain Service Network (BSN), the initiative was announced last year. Planned by the State Information Center (SIC), the BSN is a national blockchain service infrastructure platform spanning public networks, regions, and institutions.

The project is also supported by China Mobile, China UnionPay, and other institutions. At the Blockchain Service Network Partner Conference held last month, the Blockchain Service Network Alliance was announced with the initial members joining the initiative, including Huobi China, China Merchants Bank International, China Telecom, and WeBank, among others.

The objective is to create a trusted public infrastructure to support smart cities and digital economy. SIC’ deputy director Zhang Xueying said that the BSN aims to lower the technical and economic costs associated with developing blockchain applications.

The network is currently in the beta phase, which started in October 2019. During this period, the BSN will be provided to 400 companies and 600 developers for testing. Hangzhou is the first pilot city.

Earlier this month, Tang Sisi, deputy head of the SIC’s Smart City Development Research Center, announced that the BSN will be officially launched for commercial operations in April.

Mushrooming blockchain initiatives in China

President Xi Jinping’s endorsement of blockchain technology last year has spurred a number of initiatives across the country. Reports suggest that three institutes in the Shijiazhuang have jointly launched a blockchain-based identification system as part of the smart city infrastructure. In addition, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange has expanded its blockchain-based cross-border financing pilot program to 19 provinces.

Hainan, an island province in China, has announced a special fund of 1 billion yuan to support blockchain companies. Furthermore, new guidelines for blockchain patent applications are slated to come into effect in the country on February 01.

Meanwhile, the country’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, is working to develop its own central bank digital currency (CBDC). In an announcement dated Jan.05, the PBoC said (via online translation), “The development of fiat digital currencies is progressing smoothly.”

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