China is forging ahead with plans to increase the use of blockchain technology even as the blanket ban on virtual currencies continues in the country.
Local news outlet China Daily reports that the country’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MSTC) has approved plans to build a blockchain institute in the capital city of Beijing. The institute, named the National Blockchain Technology Innovation Center, will promote the application of distributed ledgers while focusing on their development and industrialization.
The innovation center will be operated by the Beijing Academy of Blockchain and Edge Computing (BABEC), a government-backed research institute with a wealth of experience in distributed ledgers. BABEC was part of the team that developed China’s first locally designed blockchain platform ChainMaker, recently announcing the launch of a computer cluster for processing millions of smart contracts transactions per second.
The blockchain institute will partner with higher learning institutions in Mainland China to deepen the talent pool in the country for enterprises involved in the ecosystem. The MSTC has confirmed that the creation of original technological achievements is a core objective of the institute.
“The institute will make every effort to overcome key core technologies in the blockchain field, accelerate industrialization, cultivate high-level talents, and build a national blockchain strategic technology force,” said an official from the ministry.
It is unclear when the research institute will be launched to the public, and details regarding the staffing and operations remain sparse.
“With the start of the construction work, the national blockchain innovation center will focus on the basic theory of blockchain, key technologies of software and hardware, basic platforms and verification networks, and common platforms and services,” said the official.
China’s rapidly developing blockchain space
Contrary to popular opinion, China’s virtual currency ban in 2021 has done little to dampen the enthusiasm of the general populace toward blockchain. Recent research revealed that China’s had over 1,400 blockchain firms within its borders, making it a leader in the space.
Meanwhile, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse have grown in leaps and bounds since the ban, with Chinese courts conferring property rights to digital collectibles. Higher institutions of learning are beginning to offer blockchain-related courses, with one university going as far as renaming a department after the metaverse.
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