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China’s State Council Orders Local Authorities to Speed Up Blockchain Technology Development

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In an order issued by Chinese State Council on May 4th to all local authorities, both provincial and municipal, various aspects are vital to enhancing the government’s program of the Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone.

While the order touches on different aspects that the central government deem important in enhancing the country’s trading power, one major area of focus is enhancement of financial technologies which consist of of the speeding up of “developing and implementing blockchain applications under existing regulatory frameworks.”

According to CoinDesk, the Guangdong Free-Trade Zone was initiated and authorized by the State Council in 2014. It consists of a region located in China’s Guangdong province that connects Hong Kong and Macau, and the programs aims at creating an internationalized free market.

China’s Positive Attitude Towards Blockchain

Although the document by the council does not give finer details on how the local authorities will offer support for enhanced blockchain technology development within the free trade area, it is nevertheless a positive step for blockchain players in the country.

This is not the first time the central government has given off a positive attitude towards blockchain technology in China. However, it is the first time that they have publicly pushed for the scaling up of blockchain use in a top-level official document.

According to data from China’s Ministry of Information and Technology that was issued this week, Guangdong province has 71 blockchain-based ventures, which accounts for about 16 percent of the total blockchain startups in the country. This shows why the country’s top-level decision making organ has ordered the crafting of policies and guidelines to enhance the growth and development of blockchain technology in Guangdong.

The order is not the first to bring up the issue of blockchain in Chinese central government policy. In 2016, the State Council introduced the concept of blockchain as part of an information technology reformation strategy in the country’s five-year economic development plan from 2016 to 2020.

In the recent past, the Chinese government has shown much interest in encouraging blockchain technology and their products, but it is not a fan of cryptocurrency.

At the start of the May, the Chinese government came up with a program that will see the police use blockchain technology to enhance security of data related to to police investigations. Recently, the Ministry of Information Technology announced that 2017 had witnessed an explosion in the number of blockchain startups in the country.

Although ICOs remain banned in the country, China has been at the forefront of encouraging investments in blockchain technology, and it is no wonder that the country holds the highest number of blockchain patents in the world.

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

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