Regardless of its recent crackdown on bitcoin exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs), China’s government still appears committed to the potential of blockchain in other areas.
According to a report by Caixin, the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has launched a research facility called the Trusted Blockchain Open Lab in order to support the ongoing development of the technology in China.
To be operated by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), the blockchain lab will conduct research in the area of blockchain, as well as creating a platform for specialists to share their knowledge around the technology.
The news comes amid a widely perceived shortage of blockchain specialists globally. As reported by the China Economic Review, Di Gang, vice director of the Digital Currency Research Institute within the People’s Bank of China, warned at an event yesterday that technical blockchain specialists were lacking in comparison to those using the technology for economic reasons.
The official reportedly said:
“There have been many blockchain conferences where the number of business personnel exceeds technical personnel.”
Following China’s September 4 ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and later closure of several cryptocurrency exchanges, Reuters reports that Sun Guofeng, director general of the Digital Currency Research Institute, said that the ruling was “necessary and timely” in order to halt criminal activity in the sector.
However, he stated blockchain itself is a “good technology,” adding that “an ICO is not the only way through which one can carry out research into it.”
He continued by promising the ban would not have a negative impact on the broader blockchain industry.
Various tech giants in China are currently working with the technology, including Tencent, who announced a blockchain research partnership with multinational tech corporation Intel at a conference earlier this month. Additionally, payment giant China UnionPay recently filed a patent for blockchain based ATM network, while the Midea Group, an electrical appliances manufacturer, is seeking to patent a method for mining bitcoin with household items.
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