China is going to carry on with its blockchain ambitions by designating entire cities and entities as test ground for its plans in the sector.
In 2019, President Xi Jinping called on the country to “seize the opportunity” that had been provided by blockchain technology, speaking in vague terms which manifested themselves as a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by 2021 or 2022.
Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou will all participate in the pilot tests of new government projects involving blockchain.
The government has also selected 164 entities, including universities, hospitals, car companies and banks that will participate in various blockchain trials over the coming months.
Meanwhile, China’s cyberspace regulator urged local regulators to endorse the role of blockchain in the future.
The government believes that blockchain can help in key areas, such as optimizing processes, reducing operating costs and improving data sharing. The initial trials should “give priority” to blockchain software and hardware.
The decision comes several months after China completely banned private cryptocurrencies – largely based on blockchain – and prohibited any crypto mining operation.
At the same time, the People’s Bank of China is busy with the rollout of a CBDC, known as the e-yuan.
The e-yuan has attracted criticism from the US, with legislators petitioning the US Olympic Committee to ban US athletes from using the currency because it constituted security and privacy risk.
Financial analysts have stressed that a digital yuan may also be a risk for other established currencies, such as the euro.