China launches nationwide blockchain service network

China launched a nationwide blockchain-based service network (BSN) on Tuesday, with aims to improve the layout of the blockchain sector and serve the development of smart cities and the digital economy.

As a trans-regional public infrastructure network, the BSN was jointly launched by the State Information Center (SIC), China Mobile, China UnionPay and other institutions.

Featuring controllable security, independent innovation, openness and inclusiveness, the network will effectively reduce the technical and economic threshold for the application of blockchain, said Zhang Xueying, deputy head of the SIC.

With the gradual adaptation of 5G, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and other technologies, the BSN will provide high-quality and customized services for the development of smart cities and the digital economy, and help nurture a batch of new industries or new business models based on blockchain technology, according to Zhang.

Beta tests of the network have also kicked off, with all related content, applications and resources free of charge before March 2020.

Zhang Chao, director of the Zhongguancun Industry & Information Research Institute of Two-dimensional Code Technology, one of the developers of the blockchain-based ID system, said that the system was self-developed by China and will be “independently distributed and managed by China, with a unified distribution rule, a resolution of distributed storage and tamper-resistant code.”

China started piloting smart city development in 2012 and started constructing them in 2016 to build at least 100 smart cities by 2020. According to Deloitte, China had about 500 smart city pilot projects, the highest in the world, as of last year.

The country has also been embracing blockchain technology at a rapid pace. Last month, China’s president, Xi Jinping, publicly supported the technology, saying that the nation should take the leading position in its development. China is also almost “ready” to launch its national digital currency after five years of research and development.

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