Chinese President Xi Jinping acknowledged in his speech that blockchain has ‘breakthrough’ applications.
“A new generation of technology represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information, mobile communications, internet of things and blockchain is accelerating breakthrough applications,” he said on Monday.
Additionally, Xi highlighted China’s need to focus on technological development and emerge as a global center of science and innovation.
Bitcoin is the first and most popular application of blockchain. Blockchain advocates claim that the technology eliminates the need for third party intermediaries such as banks, by creating a fast, secure and permanent record of transactions between two parties.
China has successfully and effectively stopped bitcoin trading domestically, and officially banned the sales of new digital tokens via the “initial coin offering” process in September.
Despite this, the country remains a hub of activity for blockchain development. Numerous start-ups are collaborating with the local Chinese government to research or push for the implementation of the technology.
“In China, blockchain’s still developing, really great,” said Albert Xuan, project manager at Liaoyuan, a consulting firm and incubator for start-ups.
Xuan said around 100 to 200 people flew from China to New York earlier this month to attend the “Blockchain Without Borders” conference hosted by Liaoyaun. The conference drew about 650 people and had at least two panels in Mandarin Chinese.
Blockchain technology is also mentioned twice briefly in the Chinese State Council’s 13th five-economic plan released in 2016.
“Since entering the 21st century, global science and technological innovation has entered into an unprecedented period of intensive activity,” Xi said in his speech. “A new round of scientific and industrial revolution is reconstructing the global innovation map and reshaping the global economic structure,” he added.