A new white paper from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology says that China has already formed an incipient blockchain industrial ecosystem.
The “2018 China Blockchain Industry White Paper” released by MIIT on 20 May notes that there were 456 companies in China for which blockchain technologies were their main business as of the end of March 2018, which is of sufficient number to be considered the “incipient formation” of an industry.
According to the white paper these companies cover all the key segments of both the upstream and downstream legs of the industry, from hardware manufacturing, platform services and security services to industrial technical application services, finance, media and human resources.
“Our blockchain industry is currently at a high-speed development phase – entrepreneurs and capital are pouring in, and the number of enterprises is rapidly increasing” said the white paper.
2014 first saw the emergence of blockchain companies in China, while the number of new enterprises in the sector rose to over 100 by 2016, for a more than three-fold increase compared to the preceding year.
In 2017 alone the number of new companies reached 178, as buzz around blockchain technology spread around China.
“The blockchain industry is currently at an extremely early stage of development,” said Yu Jianing (于佳宁), head of the MIIT Information Center Industrial Economy Research Institute and chair of the editorial committee for the white paper to state media.
“Following the rapid development of the entire industry as well as an acceleration of project deployment speed, financing rounds will extend further back, and in future there will be even more projects entering the middle and later-stages.’
China launched a crackdown on initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency trading in September of last year, while officials from the Chinese central bank declared that “blockchains have no future as money.”
The Chinese government nonetheless remains highly enthusiastic about the application of blockchain technology to other parts of the economy, with the banking regulator calling for its use to help manage secondary loans at the start for the year, and the audit office considering its use of national data management.