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China intensive blockchain trial involves 164 entities in Beijing, Shanghai

China is kicking off an intensive blockchain trial in Beijing, Shanghai, and other major cities, just months after it reiterated its ban on digital currencies. The trial will involve 164 entities in various sectors, ranging from law enforcement and taxation to equity markets and education.

Despite having a checkered history with digital currencies, China has always been pro-blockchain. President Xi Jinping has called on the Asian nation to seize the opportunities presented by blockchain technology, which he described as “an important breakthrough for independent innovation of core technologies.”

In its latest effort, the Cyberspace Administration of China has announced the launch of a series of trials that will see blockchain technology deployed all across the country and in over a dozen sectors. The agency said the effort is aiming for large-scale implementation of the technology in both the private and public sector.

The agency has partnered with the Ministries of Education, Industry and Information Technology, Justice and Human Resources, and Social Security on the initiative. It has also teamed up with the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), whose efforts to create a central bank digital currency are in high gear.

Some of the sectors on which the blockchain trials will focus include education, healthcare, trade finance, law enforcement, taxation, public services, manufacturing, energy, cross-border finance, and the equity market. All the trials will “give priority to adopting blockchain software and hardware technologies.”

The capital of Beijing is once again at the heart of the trials, with other major cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou also seeing a number of projects. 

One of China’s biggest efforts with distributed ledger technology is its state-backed Blockchain Service Network. Last month, the team behind the network announced that it was rolling out infrastructure that would support the deployment of NFTs as long as they decoupled from digital currencies. In an effort to ensure the NFTs have no links to digital currencies, the team is calling them distributed digital certificates.

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