In a surprising move, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has announced that it is considering implementing new blockchain and distributed ledger technology standards.
In an official proclamation, the Ministry clarified that it has recently hosted its own research seminar with the view of establishing standards frameworks. The move would introduce a proprietary blockchain standard which could be examined more closely by Chinese regulators – such as the China Electronics Standardization Institute.
China is already a participant in the international TC 307 commission, which is developing frameworks for blockchain authentication and smart contracts.
The move comes amidst China’s warmer stance on blockchain technology, despite its harsh regulatory stance on cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
The country’s decision to pursue a blockchain standards framework is significant – Zhou Xiaochuan, the chairman of the People’s Bank of China, recently remarked that the development of a state-backed digital currency was ‘inevitable’.
More broadly, the Bank of China recently filed patents with the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office that depict a proprietary blockchain scaling solution; In the patent, the bank principally describes a solution which would involve the compression of data stored within a blockchain – a proposal that could effectively offer a way to scale blockchains to multitudes of users or data inputs.
The decision of the Chinese government to pursue a blockchain standards framework might well accelerate plans to launch a state-backed digital currency in the near future, and might have ramifications for the country’s present stance on cryptocurrencies and ICOs.
Should certain digital currency projects be – or become – compliant with the state’s vision, potential remains for heavily regulated cryptocurrency trading to resume wherein investors might once again access offshore cryptocurrency platforms.
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