James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.
The central government of China has announced the membership of its national blockchain committee to help bring about standards in distributed ledger technologies.
The 71-strong group, according to a release published on April 13, includes various government staff, academics from technological institutes, as well as business. Senior executives from Huawei, Baidu and Tencent are on the list, as well as CEOs of blockchain and DLT startups in China, including Li Wei, CEO of Hangzhou Fun Chain.
The committee will be chaired by Chen Zhaoxiong, deputy minister at the Chinese ministry of industry and information technology.
As per the notice from the government’s science and technology department, the reason for the full committee list’s publication is to canvas opinions on its viability. The deadline for comments is May 12, with enquirers encouraged to send their comments on email to KJBZ@miit.gov.cn.
China’s move towards blockchain technologies – and apparent U-turn over the past six months – has been notable. In October, Chinese President Xi Jinping described the technology as an ‘important breakthrough’, with more developments needed to accelerate both the sector itself and its interoperability between blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
This makes for a marked change since blanket bans on both ICOs and offshore cryptocurrency exchanges. In January, a report from Xinhua Finance and Rhino Data found that funding for Chinese blockchain startups in 2019 was at approximately 24 billion yuan ($3.5bn). This represented around a 50% decrease on 2018, perhaps not surprisingly, although April 2019’s total funding, of 8.3bn yuan, was greater than any 2018 total. The report had hoped for healthier development in 2020 with more rational capital support, rather than relying on crypto funding channels.
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