China’s leaders have embraced blockchains (er, minus the decentralized bit)

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China’s leaders have embraced blockchains (er, minus the decentralized bit)

As if we didn’t know it already, three recent high-level developments in China  have shown just how serious the nation is about blockchains. But what the Chinese government wants to do with the technology is a far cry from the goals espoused by decentralized Cryptocurrency systems like Bitcoin.

The news: Speaking at a government meeting on Thursday, China’s president, Xi Jinping, called on the nation to “seize the opportunity” and take a “leading position” in the development of Blockchain technology, according to Chinese state media. On Saturday, it was reported that China’s government passed a new law to address certain regulatory and legal issues related to cryptography, an essential aspect of Blockchain systems. Then, on Monday, Reuters reported that while speaking at a forum in Shanghai, Li Wei, head of the People’s Bank of China’s technology department, had urged commercial banks to step up their application of blockchains to finance.

Not a new message: The People’s Bank of China has been studying digital currency and Blockchain technology since 2014. In 2017, it said it would emphasize Blockchain development as part of a five-year plan. Big technology companies Tencent and Alibaba are working on Blockchain platforms, and the central bank has said it is nearly ready to launch a digital currency.

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