Chinese President Xi Jinping referred to blockchain during a speech on Monday, voicing his support for innovative technologies and highlighting their role in the development of breakthrough applications.
Chinese President Xi Jinping publicly endorsed blockchain in a speech on Monday, mentioning it alongside other transformative technologies and stressing that China should strive to lead the world in science and innovation.
Speaking during a forum of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, one of the most powerful leaders in the world said:
“A new generation of technology represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information, mobile communications, internet of things and blockchain is accelerating breakthrough applications.”
Xi said that China should consider technological development a priority and build a global hub of innovation.
“Since entering the 21st century, global science and technological innovation has entered into an unprecedented period of intensive activity. A new round of scientific and industrial revolution is reconstructing the global innovation map and reshaping the global economic structure,” he added.
While the country leader was speaking in Beijing, the 2018 Boao Asia Blockchain Conference, which also started on Monday, sparked anger on social media as the event was opened by an actor impersonating former leader Mao Zedong. Some blockchain watchers were afraid the incident might cast the whole blockchain community in a bad light, risking a reaction from government institutions.
The most recognized application of blockchain is cryptocurrency, Bitcoin being the one typically in the spotlight. China took a tough stance on cryptocurrency trading when it banned local crypto exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs) – a form of crowdfunding and fundraising. It went even further by hinting it would prohibit any type of crypto activity, including peer-to-peer trading.
Even though China has rejected blockchain’s main application, it does not oppose the technology itself. In fact, the country is very active when it comes to blockchain development, with giants like Baidu, Tencent, and JD.com showing interest in the technology.
Last week, we reported on a new document released by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), which reveals the country ’s ambition become a leader in adopting blockchain.
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