Applications and Use Cases

Blockchain to Play Pivotal Role in China's Data and Economic Infrastructure

April 23, 2020

Blockchain is set to play a starring role in China's developing data and technology infrastructure and will also be used for planning the country's economy. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said blockchain will be used in tandem with AI, cloud computing and the IoT to form the systems China will use to manage information flow and economic planning moving ahead.

Unsurprisingly, the Chinese government didn't give many specifics about exactly how blockchain will be used in its planning and development systems. A subsidiary of the NDRC has already been working on a new Blockchain Service Network (BSN). The solution will give companies that have access the tools they need to develop blockchain-based applications. The offering has already been launched in China and is set to open up to global companies this week.

New technologies, including blockchain, are set to "work with relevant departments to study and issue relevant guidance to promote the development of new infrastructure [and] revise and improve the access rules that are conducive to the sustainable and healthy development of emerging industries," said Wu Hao, high-tech director at NDRC, on the new announcement.

When first announced, the BSN was envisioned for use in smart city applications where sensors connected to the internet would collect data and insights for use in managing public resources. It was also meant to encourage energy conservation as well as facilitate identity registration and data storage.

The BSN is designed as a centralized platform that enables developers to connect and code, with a choice of several enterprise blockchain protocols as well as public chains.

“Designed to unify the fragmented market, BSN is a cross-cloud, cross-portal and cross-framework public network that enables developers to easily and affordably develop, deploy, operate and maintain permissioned and permissionless blockchain applications and nodes,” said Leon Li, CEO of crypto exchange operator Huobi Group. The Singapore-based company’s blockchain development arm is a founding member of the BSN.

The BSN has a relatively low access price of $300 per year, designed to encourage participation from SMEs as well as individuals like students. According to Li, deploying distributed ledger technology apps on cloud services like Huawei Cloud and Ali Cloud can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars per year.

Edited by Maurice Nagle



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