China is establishing a National Blockchain Technology Innovation Center in its capital city of Beijing to accelerate its industry through blockchain technology. The center will collaborate with local universities, think tanks, and blockchain companies to conduct research on core blockchain technologies and apply their findings toward the further digitalization of China, with a focus on its industry. The Beijing Academy of Blockchain and Edge Computing (BABEC) will lead the new institution, known for developing the Chang’an Chain or ChainMaker blockchain, which is supported by an ecosystem of 50 business corporations, many of which are state-owned. As of press time, the ChainMaker can handle up to 240 million transactions per second, a significant increase from its 100,000 TPS in 2021.
Despite China’s ongoing crackdown on cryptocurrency, it has been promoting itself as a blockchain nation, claiming that 84% of all blockchain applications filed worldwide come from China. However, with a low approval rate of 19% for filed applications, the real numbers may not differ much. China has also embarked on a project for a central bank digital currency (CBDC), distributing millions of dollars worth of e-CNY to boost its adoption. While e-CNY transactions have surpassed 100 billion yuan ($14 billion), a former executive of the People’s Bank of China has recently called for a review of the country’s stringent crypto restrictions, arguing that a permanent ban on crypto could result in missed opportunities for the formal financial system, including those related to blockchain and tokenization.
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