China has launched its first official blockchain pilot zone in the Hainan Province.
According to local state agency Xinhua, the base of the pilot zone is at the Hainan Resort Software Community (RSC) and it includes a blockchain research facility. The institute, which was established by both the RSC as well as the University College Oxford Blockchain Research Centre at Oxford University, launched on Monday of this week.
Wang Zing, the head of Hainan’s provincial department of industry and information technology, commented on the newly launched zone:
“The pilot zone will commit to attracting blockchain talent around the world and exploring the application of blockchain in areas such as cross-border trade, inclusive finance and credit rating”.
She also said that the testing site would act as a means to extend cooperation with top research facilities worldwide. she also believes that it will be able to link the research with important figures in the innovative industry.
The pilot zone might come as a surprise considering China’s previous take on cryptocurrency.
In mid-August of this year, the nation was hit by a ban on all blockchain related events. At the time, founder of 8BTC Red Li up a document sent from the government of the Chaoyang District in Beijing. The document outlined the order which was set to ban all local hotels and offices from holding any events with a focus on cryptocurrency.
And in April of this year, a blockchain conference in Shanghai was interrupted and shut down by local police owing to “security risks”.
While it might not be apparent whether this pilot zone might be an indication that the Chinese government is easing its take on the blockchain, the news is at least remarkable that the country is open to explore the concept.