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· From Pigs to Party Fealty, China Harnesses Blockchain Power
… Verifying pigs, tracking shares of liquor maker Kweichow Moutai Co., and pledging loyalty to the Communist Party. These are just some of the blockchain projects getting a boost amid a frenzy spurred by comments from President Xi Jinping…
· Xinhua Headlines: China embraces blockchain as next frontier for digital future
… Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, highlighted the role of blockchain in promoting data sharing, optimizing business processes, reducing operating costs, improving collaborative efficiency and building a trusted system…
From Pigs to Party Fealty, China Harnesses Blockchain Power
o President Xi’s endorsement of blockchain spurs craze in China
o Companies jump on blockchain bandwagon to drive shares
By Lulu Yilun Chen, Bloomberg
November 6, 2019
Verifying pigs, tracking shares of liquor maker Kweichow Moutai Co., and pledging loyalty to the Communist Party. These are just some of the blockchain projects getting a boost amid a frenzy spurred by comments from President Xi Jinping.
Companies and government officials alike are embracing the technology underpinning Bitcoin after Xi urged faster development of blockchain ahead of a recent key policy meeting by high-ranking Chinese officials.
Call it blockchain with Chinese characteristics. Many of the applications have little reason to be decentralized -- a key merit, if not requisite for a blockchain to be tamper-proof. A flurry of gimmicks could just be the first-rush response to Xi’s call to no longer play second fiddle to the U.S., as Beijing stakes a claim on the technology -- but doing so in a way that’s a far cry from the vision of the technology’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
“I can’t see them doing much decentralization at this point, without the blockchain players being under the watchful eye of the government,” said Martin Chorzempa, research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “If we have blockchain with these Chinese characteristics, we eschew the central ethos of cryptocurrency and blockchain and the technology that underlines it.”
A startup in Chengdu that aims to use blockchain to raise pigs and provide safe pork became buzzy on Chinese social media. Shares of Shenzhen-listed MYS Group Co., known for its quick embrace of artificial meat and industrial cannabis, jumped 22% when it announced a foray into blockchain. A news publication operated by the People’s Daily asked Party members to stamp their declarations of loyalty to the organization on a blockchain, so that “it can never be tampered with.”
A burst of activity also ensued in the stock market, with more than 70 tech-company stocks surging by the daily limits in Shanghai and Shenzhen. Regulators stepped in to ask companies like MYS Group to explain their involvement in the technology.
“I think in the short term investors are so thirsty about any signal about mainstream adoption, and I think this is one of them,” said James Wo, founder of Digital Finance Group, which focuses on investment in the field.
Some think they’ve cracked the code for more practical financial applications. Players including billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial have been quietly experimenting with adapted versions of the technology for cross-border micro-transaction payments and medical reimbursement. The PBOC’s Shenzhen branch said its blockchain-based trade finance platform has processed 75 billion yuan ($10.7 billion) of transactions in the year since its introduction, applying it to accounts-receivable financing and supervision of cross-border trade.
Traditionally, blockchain-technology transactions are recorded and verified by so-called miners who use powerful computers to solve complex math problems. For the network to be inviolable, a significant number of miners need to be involved, with no one controlling more than half of the mining power.
As the value of cryptocurrencies grew, companies and government entities began looking at the underlying technology, proposing use it for other purposes. Many of those projects are built on private blockchains, where people need to be invited to become a node to document the ledger. Some Bitcoin fundamentalists argue these private blockchains are not tamper-proof due to their pre-screened nature and limited parties involved.
Even though Xi’s speech was an endorsement of blockchain, not cryptocurrencies, it still helped fuel a rise of about 30% in the price of Bitcoin within days. But there’s no reason to think the country will open the floodgates for crypto trading or regulations for foreign players.
Last year, China cracked down on cryptocurrency activity, halting trading on domestic exchanges, discouraging Bitcoin mining, and banning initial coin offerings, the equivalent of an initial public offering for new virtual currencies.
“I’d be very careful if I were a foreign blockchain company contemplating entry into China,” said Chorzempa...
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Xinhua Headlines: China embraces blockchain as next frontier for digital future
China is among one of the first major countries to acknowledge the potential of the blockchain technology. Starting in 2014, the central bank has been doing research on digital currency. Over concerns of financial stability, the country has been enhancing research and analysis on the safety risks of blockchain.
Source: Xinhua(China) |Editor: huaxia
BEIJING, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Having taken the lead in frontier technologies including artificial intelligence and 5G, China is paying attention to the nascent blockchain technology to power its digital future.
During a group study session of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau last month, China's top leadership underscored the important role of blockchain technology in the new round of technological innovation and industrial transformation, urging more efforts to quicken development in the sector.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, highlighted the role of blockchain in promoting data sharing, optimizing business processes, reducing operating costs, improving collaborative efficiency and building a trusted system.
An obscure concept to many, the term has caught public attention as the underlying technology for digital currencies, including Bitcoin, which over the years created big buzz for its wild swings in value.
But being a transformative technology that features an immutable record of data that can be used and shared within a decentralized and publicly accessible network, its application scenarios go far beyond the cryptocurrency space.
From financing and manufacturing to trade, a data chain built upon trust and transparency could offer cheaper and more effective solutions for businesses.
While widespread adoptions of the technology are yet to flourish, countries and businesses around the world have been buzzing around the honeypot.
In July, the U.S. Senate Committee of Commerce, Science and Transportation approved the Blockchain Promotion Act.
Germany in September passed a national strategy that set the framework for blockchain-related innovations.
On the corporate level, social media giant Facebook in June announced its plan to launch a new global digital currency called Libra to tap into digital payments.
China is among one of the first major countries to acknowledge the potential of the technology. It listed blockchain as a strategic frontier technology in a national industry plan in 2016 and in June 2018, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released an action plan to encourage research and exploration in the area.
Starting in 2014, the central bank has been doing research on digital currency.
"The blockchain has huge potential in advancing innovative development of the digital economy... and we should push deep integration between blockchain and the real economy to tackle difficulties in business financing, banks' risk control and regulators' supervision," noted Li Wei, an official with the People's Bank of China, the central bank.
Riding on the waves, China's leading Internet giants are also on the move. Financial technology firm Ant Financial has applied the technology in real-life scenarios including charity, food security, and cross-border remittance.
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