Blockchain Sector Receives a Big Boost in China, as the Country Approves 197 Firms, Baidu and Alibaba Included

China has been among the forerunners of the Blockchain industry, in spite of the government being deadly against cryptocurrencies. As per a report by the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), China filed the most number of blockchain related patents during last year.

For boosting the sector, the country’s Internet censorship agency has declared the first list of firms whose applications were accepted successfully, and they can now commence blockchain related businesses in the country. This list was issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the country’s central Internet regulator.

The list mostly contains names of start-up companies, however, giants like Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu have also been included in it. The list contains a total of 197 names of companies which are focused to explore and develop on the potentials of blockchain technology.

Alibaba’s Alibaba Cloud Blockchain as a service (BaaS), Baidu’s Baidu Blockchain Engine (BBE), and Tencent’s Tencent BaaS, and JD.com’s The BaaS Platform were included in the featured list. Baidu, the Chinese substitute for Google, has a crypto product called Super Chain, which is compatible with Bitcoin and Ethereum mining. Baidu is also one of China’s biggest IT companies.

As per the list issued by the CAC, a majority of the approved applications were blockchain firms related to medical, logistics and government services. These companies cannot use blockchain for any purpose other than for which they have been approved. Earlier this year, Chinese regulators introduced stricter regulations for blockchain businesses in the country, starting from February.

Blockchain space has been facing heavy regulations throughout the globe, especially in the past two years. However, this hasn’t prevented the space from expanding and growing exponentially. In the aftermath of the crypto market collapse last year, the blockchain space received investments in the north of $5 billion from venture capitals, a significant bump from the $1.5 billion received in 2017.

These giant corporations have entered the sectors, primarily due to the potential uses of the innovative tech. Research and development in the space have shown extremely potent results which have forced countries all across the globe take serious efforts in developing formidable blockchain base for themselves.

Blockchain is often touted by experts as the future of the global economy. Many of them have gone on to claim that the distributed ledger technology will cover almost half of the global economy in the next decade or so. This might not be far from the truth, as the tech already has numerous sectors under its wings.

Though President Xi Jinping has been a strong supporter of blockchain technology, China has always been against cryptocurrencies, as there is a complete ban on ICOs in the country. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, was initially founded in China but had to move its base to Japan when the country introduced a complete ban on cryptocurrency trade. However, this could discourage investors, as many of them took other routes to bypass the ban.

In spite of its crackdown on cryptocurrencies, the Chinese government strongly supported the underlying blockchain technology. In fact, Jinping has been an advocate of the slogan “Blockchain, not Bitcoin”. The country expects to revamp its economy with the revolutionary tech, and therefore, has included the technology in its development vision till 2020.

China’s arch-rival the United States has been taking big strides in the blockchain space. American giants, including IBM, Amazon HSBC, Microsoft and Intel have entered the market with huge investments and growth prospects. This makes it more important for the country to give space for local companies to explore and develop blockchain solutions for the country.

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