Chinese city launches economic stimulus on blockchain

Nanjing city in China is turning to the blockchain to distribute consumption vouchers for its citizens. The program is part of the city’s economic stimulus program as it seeks to revive the local economy after the pandemic.

The city, which is the capital of China’s eastern province of Jiangsu, has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the local government has endeavored to stimulate the local economy through a raft of measures that seek to distribute over $140 million to the citizens.

One of its key measures is the distribution of consumption vouchers. These vouchers can be spent in restaurants, public transport, essential services and even on tourist spots. The government has now distributed these vouchers to over 270,000 of its residents.

According to local reports, Nanjing has now distributed 380 million yuan ($53.7 million) to its residents via the blockchain. The government revealed earlier this month that it has set its target at 1 billion yuan ($141.5 million). It has partnered with some of the major companies in the province to facilitate the distribution, including ride-hailing platform DiDi and retail giant Carrefour.

China has continued to feel the adverse economic effects of the pandemic, with most businesses struggling to stay afloat. The government has stepped in, issuing economic stimulus to hundreds of millions of citizens throughout the country.

A report by Chinese outlet Global Times revealed that the country’s economy has relied mostly on consumption stimulus in the first half of 2020. Local governments across the Asian country have come up with innovative solutions as they strive to revive their once-vibrant local economies.

Nanjing has shown great support for blockchain technology in the past. In 2018, the city launched a 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) fund to invest in blockchain and digital currencies. The local government contributed 30% of the funds, with the private sector accounting for the rest.

The fund focuses on the use of blockchain in cross-border funds transfer, healthcare, energy, intellectual property and environmental protection. Nanjing has also been assisting blockchain companies to set up operations in the city.

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