China has launched a state-backed research center dedicated to exploring blockchain’s potential and achieving core technological breakthroughs related to the technology. According to a recent report from the local Chinese outlet South China Morning Post, the country's Ministry of Science and Technology has approved the construction of the National Blockchain Technology Innovation Centre, which is tasked with researching blockchain technology for industrial applications as well as how it could be applied in the national economy.Based in Beijing, the center "will focus on areas of blockchain regarding fundamental theory, software and hardware, with the aim of developing related key technologies and industrial applications," the report said. The Beijing Academy of Blockchain and Edge Computing (BABEC), an entity popular for developing the Chang’an Chain or ChainMaker blockchain, will lead the research center. China has been a supporter of the nascent blockchain technology despite its harsh stance toward cryptocurrencies. In September 2022, the Chinese government claimed that the country accounts for 84% of all blockchain applications filed worldwide. However, the approval rate is low, with only 19% of the total filed applications getting approved.Back in 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping said blockchain would play “an important role in the next round of technological innovation and industrial transformation.” At the time, Xi acknowledged that the application of blockchain technology has been extended to multiple sectors of the economy, including digital finance, the Internet of Things, smart manufacturing, supply chain management, and digital asset trading.The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the country’s two main tech industry regulators, also said in guidelines published in 2021 that China will seek to use blockchain broadly across a range of industries by 2030.In September 2021, the Chinese regulatory authorities sent a shockwave throughout the crypto world when they imposed a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies and businesses providing related services. This ban came only months after the country announced the prohibition on cryptocurrency mining activities.Blockchain Usage On The RiseOver the past couple of years, blockchain usage has seen a spike among various organizations and countries as the technology provides an affordable and efficient avenue to make and receive payments, store data, and build a credit history.As reported, the Department of Motor Vehicles in California announced last month that it plans to use blockchain technology for record-keeping, including the issuance of car ownership and simplifying transfers of such ownership. In a report earlier this year, the World Economic Forum (WEF) also said it believes blockchain technology will continue to be an "integral" part of the modern economy. The organization highlighted the widespread applications of cryptography and blockchain technologies, adding that their use in the financial services sector is already notable. "Indeed, as a test of the staying power of digital assets and blockchains at the core of financial services (and other areas of the global economy), watch what the big banks and mature financial services firms do, not what they say."
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