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China forms state backed blockchain alliance

China forms state backed blockchain alliance

China is forming a state-backed blockchain alliance featuring a number of major cryptocurrency and financial companies, according to reports.

The cryptocurrency firm, Huobi, was unveiled as a member during the recent Blockchain Service Network Partner Conference, which was sponsored by the National Information Centre (NIC), China UnionPay (the country’s equivalent to Visa), and China Mobile.

It is believed that the alliance will look to develop and implement a national blockchain service infrastructure which spans across public networks, regions, and institutions, according to local media outlet Xinhua.

The network has been planned by top-level employees at the NIC and is being independently developed by China UnionPay and China Mobile.

“The blockchain service network can effectively reduce the threshold of blockchain application and facilitate the rapid promotion and application of blockchain technology,” said Lin Yunan, director of the NIC.

Other members of the alliance include China Telecom, China Merchants Banks International, and Weizhong Bank.

The news follows a recent trend of positive sentiment towards blockchain technology in China, with President Xi Jinping recently announcing blockchain will be “vital” for the country’s future.

Shortly after, a state-run newspaper ran a cover article on Bitcoin. While the piece was swift to point out the negatives of BTC, it sung the praises of the underlying blockchain technology.

UNLOCK has been following China's progress and interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. The government is planning to release its own digital currency (read here) as well as use blockchain technology in order to help with cross border financing (click here for more). Those plans come with strong support from China's president, Xi Jinping.

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