Everyone knows the rumors regarding the sharply-negative attitude of the Chinese government toward digital assets and the release of tokens. Leading miners and crypto instruments have left the country, picking more friendly jurisdictions. The general public, however, does not lose hope to join the world of innovations, at least through the technology of the distributed registry, which is not banned in China but has even received the full approval from the ruling party.
Chinese citizens have become more interested in DLT since President Xi Jinping praised the technology. This happened at the annual conference organized by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Speaking at the event on May 28, Xi Jinping said that blockchain, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT) can change the global financial structure and improve the economy.
As a result, the State Council of the People's Republic of China ordered local financial authorities and government-funded research centers to allocate more resources for the development, deployment, and commercialization of innovative technology.
And a month earlier, prior to the State Council's order, the Hangzhou City Government decided to spend $1.6 billion to finance the development of distributed ledger technology.
The state also supported the Bank of China, which announced that it plans to invest more than one percent of the annual operating income in fintech, blockchain, and IoT. The head of the Bank of China's press service, Liu Qiuwan, pointed out that the Bank is already using blockchain technology in 12 different projects.
The growth of DLT popularization in China does not stop, despite the strict regulatory policy of the Party. In July 2018, the South China Morning Post reported some statistics. In the first half of the year 2018, 3,078 companies were registered in China with the word "blockchain" in their names, which is 454% more than in 2017 (then, their number was only 555).
On August 10, the CCN news agency reported that the Chinese private company GSR Capital has invested $374.5 million in the U.S. Overstock retailer. GSR Capital spent $270 million on acquiring an 18 percent stake in the tZero subsidiary of Overstock. tZero is the ambitious project of Patrick Byrne, whose goal is to create an alternative to NASDAQ, without brokers and with a direct link between buyers and sellers. At the heart of the tZero platform is a transparent, open, and immutable registry. Patrick Byrne aims to create a new type of capital market. As a result of the investments from the Chinese, tZero now costs more than Overstock. This investment in one blockchain platform is by far the largest of all that have ever taken place.
The Basics of Blockchain for Chinese Officials
The publishing house of the Communist Party of China published a book on blockchain technology called "Blockchain—A Guide for Officials," in other words a textbook for the bureaucrats. The publication covers all aspects of the new technology and is intended to serve as a guide for Chinese officials. Information about this spread through the local People's Network media.
The book presents information about the technology of distributed registries and discusses its practical application in the present and the future in application to the technological, legal, financial, and business sectors. In accordance with the guidelines, the Chinese Communist Party aims to provide a general concept and scientific description of DLT technologies for government authorities with a view to its wider application. In the chapter titled "From Internet Thinking to Blockchain Thinking," the People's Network President Ye Hao states "We call on all sectors to look at the technology of blockchain with a strategic view, assess the opportunities that are opening up, and contribute to the sustainable and healthy development of the DLT industry."
Among other notable figures who contributed to the writing of the book were Shusheng Zhang, the founder of Dana Capital; Duan Yongchao, chief strategist at Caixin Media Group; Xue Jingzhong, head of the Hangzhou City Investment Promotion Department.
China's Own Blockchain
China has a strong history of replacing the world's dominant platforms and companies such as Google, Facebook, and YouTube with local counterparts. WeChat, Youku, and other Chinese products have taken the place of Western products.
The Chinese government aspires to take a leading position in the implementation and development of blockchain, integrating the innovative technology into local projects, supporting and thereby strengthening the country's economy.