Even with global lockdowns caused by COVID-19, China is actively accelerating the locomotive of the world’s digital transformation. Blockchainisation, in particular. With digital yuan aimed at pioneering international blockchain-based payments, and freshly launched national blockchain network that also supports existing public protocols. The future is obviously not cancelled.
Ready, set, DCEP
Speeding up its DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment) initiative, China has appointed its payment giants – AliPay and WeChatPay – along with four major banks – China Construction Bank, Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China – to be responsible for issuing the CBDC and operating the infrastructure. Earlier this week, China has also launched the “National Blockchain and Distributed Accounting Technology Standardization Technical Committee”, with Huawei, Tencent, Baidu, Ant Financial and JD.com among its members.
Payment providers are supposed to support digital yuan to ensure access for banks to customers and their wallets. This week, screenshots of freshly-made DCEP wallets (presumably, in a testing phase) flooded the Internet. Even CZ of Binance tweeted about the “execution speed”.
Local news publication China Star Market recently reported that Chinese administration plans to release Digital Yuan next month in Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou, and Xiongan, for the use of state employees – for transportation allowances, and for salaries.
Speaking to Decrypt, Matthew Graham, CEO of Sino Global Capital, said:
“As we understand it, the DCEP project has reached the next phase of testing. Specifically, the testing is with the Agricultural Bank of China, and we are told in four pilot regions.“
At your service – blockchain
To establish BSN – which is aimed at becoming a major multi-cloud, “internet-of-blockchains” infrastructure, the State Information Center partnered with large enterprises like China UnionPay, China Mobile Communications Corporation Design Institute and China Mobile Communications Corporation Government.
“As the Blockchain Service Network takes hold in worldwide countries, it will become the only global infrastructure network that is innovated by China, whose gateway access is controlled by China,” declares the white paper. The BSN was released for domestic commercial use on April 15, and goes live globally on April 25.
Moreover, a cross-platform network is said to be interoperable with frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric (already supported), Ethereum, EOS and Digital Asset’s DAML. “Which means that smart contracts and DApps that already exist in the U.S. can be easily ported and working out-of-the-box on BSN, so things like decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and digital asset exchanges will have instant access to liquidity. The speed that BSN is expanding is massive and the goal is to have 200 server nodes across China by the end of 2020. The yearly cost of running the service will be around $300–$400 per year for an average blockchain DApp usage.“
That’s not all, folks: 3 days ago, Ant Financial rolled out a blockchain platform called OpenChain, which lets small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and developers harness its proprietary blockchain technologies. “Applications of blockchain technology have ballooned over the past few years,” said Jin Ge, General Manager of Blockchain Platforms at Ant Financial. “Through the launch of the OpenChain platform, we aim to help one million SMEs and developers innovate and explore more use cases in the next three years.”