Tech

Derek Tonin

World playing catch-up to China in blockchain projects

There are a lot of different regions in the world that are trying to take some kind of blockchain nickname as a sort of marketing exercise. One country that’s just doubling down on efforts and results appears to be China, which a recent report says is leading the world in blockchain projects.

According to a report from China.org.cn, China currently has 263 blockchain projects in progress, representing 25% of blockchain projects globally. This comes from a data service provider named Blockdata, located in the Chinese capital, Beijing.

The chief editor at Blockdata, Zhang Feixue, argues the reason blockchain technology is getting such a push is to help digitalizing a wide range of industries. He said:

“The main strength of blockchain is in decentralized data management. It can serve the real economy in terms of circulation and distribution. In the field of industrial economy, blockchain allows various assets to flow in the digital world, so it is a real gateway to digitalization for industries.”

Deloitte recently surveyed companies around the world, finding that 95% of companies at least wanted to invest in blockchain technology worldwide. The difference in China is execution. The same study found 50% of respondents in China said that their organization was already using blockchain technology, compared with 14% in the United States.

A wide range of industries and businesses in China are finding good reasons to turn to blockchain tech to improve their business models. The financial industry is making the most use of it, and tech giants like Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent have started their own blockchain initiatives. It’s also being applied to government agencies.

Ultimately though, most of these blockchains are still in development and haven’t reached maturity. Kang Li, assistant director at the Blockchain Research Center of China at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, Sichuan province, said, “The industry is still in a blossoming phase where more and more companies can come up with all kinds of chains, but they don’t have an explicit idea of application service or supporting content.”

That leaves the door open for other countries, like Malta, the blockchain island, to beat China to a widely used blockchain solution. With a big lead in development though, don’t bet against China getting there first.

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