China is one of the largest blockchain markets in the World due to numerous factors ranging from cheap electricity and land in climates suited to mining, cheap labor costs and factory costs to produce miners, large population with increasing disposable income and financial technology centers all around the country that are leading in innovation in Asia. However in terms of blockchain many people have gotten mixed signals from China in terms of applications and use of the technology. China has regulated cryptocurrencies numerous times which have in short term have hurt the cryptocurrencies markets.
However China at the same time seems to be one of the most progressive countries in terms of financial technology innovation and blockchain as it recently hosted the Global Blockchain Leadership Summit (GBLS) and numerous other blockchain and fintech events to promote its use. Furthermore it appears that even the Chinese President Xi Jinping said that blockchain technology has “breakthrough” applications, furthermore cementing blockchains reputation in the country.
China and its complicated blockchain history
Historically China had left the blockchain market to grow and develop which saw potentially hundreds of mines being formed in China with thousands of miners. It also created one of the World’s first crypto billionaires, Jihan Wu who is based in China and the co-founder of Bitmain which supply mining equipment and other crypto products and services. However as with other countries around the World, China began regulating the cryptocurrency market with the latest example being in June 2017 when the Chinese central bank, The People’s Bank of China announced they were going to regulate the ICO and Ethereum markets in China to ensure their legality.
Despite majority of these regulations being common sense regulations to ensure illegal activity such as money laundering has no place in the cryptocurrency markets, it still created a cloud of uncertainty over the crypto market in China which in turn led to the cryptocurrency market branching out to other Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea.
Despite such regulations the future for blockchain technology in China seems to be bright as the President of China Xi Jinping officially gave his approval for such technology to be researched by stating “A new generation of technology represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information, mobile communications, internet of things and blockchain is accelerating breakthrough application” whilst emphasizing on its future development to ensure China is the global center of fintech, science and innovation. Thus opening its doors to fintech development and development of blockchain technology, giving it a much needed boost and clearing the cloud of uncertainty blockchain has faced in its largest market.
To conclude China has invested billions in fintech and innovation and it doesn’t appear to be stopping there as it is aiming to become the global hub of innovation not just in Asia but globally. An example of this we saw was the use of blockchain technology is certain shipments of goods as the application of such technology appears to be in beta testing before it is available to the mainstream market.