In a highly centralized country like China, blockchain technology has always been slightly rocky terrain. But China’s ever-evolving relationship with blockchain took a new step forward on Wednesday when the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) announced the formation of a national standards committee for blockchain regulation.
The SAC, which is authorized by the Chinese government and represents China in the International Organization for Standardization, released a statement that the organization is assembling several technological committees to improve China’s “economic development and social governance.” This included blockchain and other elements of the sharing economy.
In 2017, China banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) and implemented a strict crackdown on cryptocurrency exchange, resulting in an immediate 6% decrease in bitcoin prices. Just a few days ago, president Xi Jinping condemned unregulated cryptocurrency as “financial fraud.” However, while the ban and some anti-cryptocurrency sentiment still remains, China has been making major moves toward embracing blockchain; in August, the People’s Bank of China recently announced that they’re almost ready to roll out China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) with blockchain architecture, and as of today, China still files three times as many blockchain patents as the US.
The reality is that China remains a giant in the world of blockchain technology. The Chinese government, while firmly anti-cryptocurrency in theory, is working hard behind the scenes to regulate and build the decentralized technology on their own terms.