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Shanghai 5-year digital economy development plan includes NFTs, web3, metaverse

China’s biggest city and economic hub, Shanghai, plans to explore blockchain technology and innovations connected to it, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the metaverse, and Web3.

Shanghai’s Municipal Government published a draft of its “14th Five-Year Plan for the Development of Shanghai’s Digital Economy.” In the document, blockchain technology, NFTs, the metaverse, and Web3 are lumped in with other “key technologies” such as AI, cloud computing, and big data that have been getting massive support from the government.

Shanghai’s blockchain adoption plans include creating an innovation system that integrates blockchain technology. It will also promote the development of a blockchain ecosystem with strong innovation capabilities and independent control, the document reads.

For NFTs, the five-year plan intends to research and promote the digital collectibles sector, as well as support enterprises building NFT trading platforms. The government believes this will help advance intellectual property protection.

Plans for the metaverse will see Shanghai accelerate the research and deployment of virtual reality platforms. The city emphasizes the potential of this to facilitate new forms of digital entertainment consumption.

The document outlines that for Web3, the city will scour the promotion of research on multiplatform OpenID, distributed data storage, decentralized domain name resolution system (DNS), and end-to-end encrypted communication. The Web3 applications of blockchain technology will complement hardware upgrades such as the deployment of 6G, IPv6, WiFi6, and quantum communication that Shanghai also plans to explore.

Meanwhile, the city will continue to look into use cases for China’s digital yuan and study other non-blockchain-related innovation directions, including smart cities, low-carbon energy, digital health, and intelligent service robots, among others.

Shanghai leading China’s digital economy development efforts

The latest digital economy development policy document is not the first time the city of Shanghai is expressing a desire to explore blockchain-related technologies. CNBC reported late last year that Shanghai intended to double down on its support for metaverse platforms as it included it in its policy document at the time.

The city has also been at the epicenter of China’s CBDC rollout and blockchain adoption trials. The municipal government has pioneered the trial of the digital yuan for several uses both among businesses and residents of the city as well as in its operations.

Shanghai is also one of the host cities participating in China’s intensive blockchain technology adoption trials. Entities in sectors such as education, healthcare, trade finance, law enforcement, taxation, public services, manufacturing, energy, cross-border finance, and the equity market resident in Shanghai are trialing the adoption of blockchain software and hardware in collaboration with the Cyberspace Administration of China.

Watch: The BSV Global Blockchain Convention presentation, Masters of the Metaverse

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