With a GDP of above 11 Trillion USD, China is amongst the largest and fastest growing economies in the world, conducting almost 17% of all global economic activity. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only chart the PRC is leading when it comes to money changing hands Ranking at about place 79 in the Global Corruption Perceptions Index, China’s perceived level of economic misconduct is comparable to much smaller economies such as Egypt, Niger and Armenia. In an attempt to prepare the People’s Republic’s market for the coming decade, and to eradicate institutionalized corruption, the Chinese government has recently announced that it seeks to heavily invest in Blockchain technologies to increase transparency and counter fraud.
The 17th five year plan, recently published by the Chinese government, lists blockchain technologies among the main development directions in the PRC’s information planning document. China’s Central Bank, the PBC, has also signaled support for blockchain, with the bank’s chief, Xiaochuan, stating to the press last year it had spent “significant resources” researching the technology.
Following this kind of institutional backing, China’s private sector is also heavily investigating distributed ledger technology. Up until now mostly undiscovered by the western market, the Qtum Foundation has recently published an intriguing Whitepaper, which has created ripples, reaching both sides of the Pacific. The international team, led by a predominantly Chinese management, introduced a blockchain platform, combining Bitcoin’s proven-to-deliver architecture with Ethereum’s smart contracting abilities, essentially introducing an improved version of Ethereum, running on a Bitcoin blockchain, while being compatible with both ecosystems.
Probably following the lead of Chinese regulators, the project is backed by a long list of impressive investors and advisors, including Anthony Di Iorio, Ethereum Co-Founder, and CEO of JaxxWallet; Chen Weixing, Billionaire founder of Kuaidi, the Chinese version of Uber; Jeremy Gardner, co-founder of Augur and EIR at Blockchain Capital; David Lee Cuo Chuen, founder of Left Coast & Libai, as well as Bo Shen, General Partner at Fenbushi Capital; to name only a few.
Corresponding with legacy interest, but still taking the industry by surprise, the company recently announced that its business white paper has been co-developed by one of the ‘big four’ consultant agencies, being the first blockchain startup of its kind to do so.
In line with official policy, and backed by an unusual involvement of legacy investors and regulators, it seems very likely that the next blockchain revolution might originate in Asia, shifting the focal point of blockchain development to the eastern capitals.