China VS USA: The Great Race In Blockchain Technology

Mikołaj Lisewski
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In 2017 China banned ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) and became worldwide known for its negative attitude towards cryptos. On the other hand, China has the most blockchain patents published. Are these two statements related to each other?

ICO’s, regulations and patents

The history of blockchain technology in China is extremely rich in many changes of direction. First, the information about a possible total ban on Bitcoin mining. Next, the blocking of the IPOs in 2017, that for many experts, also illustrates the negative attitude towards the world of cryptocurrencies. At the end of 2018, we wrote about another blockchain regulations in China, allowing the legal force of every blockchain entity to register with the CAC (Cyberspace Administration of China). The opinions about the extent to which China is not friendly to the development of growing technology were increasingly flourishing.

Not everyone knows that the blockchain technology in China flies high but not in the same way as in the other continents. It is China, which has already published the most blockchain patents (790), first time outstripping the United States (762). However, one does not simply make an innovation in China without compliance with the authorities. Further development of technology must be controlled by the government to avoid the situation when some project would leak or would be used in illegal purposes.

The strategic technology and geopolitics

It is widely known that China is trying to be the first place of innovative technology as well as the centre of global trade. The geopolitical rivalry between the U.S. and China is noticeable in many fields – economy, trade, technology, foreign affairs, and many others. Basing on source literature, the current struggles between the two superpowers is the case of competition of the hegemon and the challenger state. According to many works (for instance, check some Graham Allison’s publications) from the late of 15th century to the end of 20th, the rising power challenged the ruling power 16 times. The U.S. – China conflict is a new chapter in the history of world geopolitical rivalry.

Greater ambitions, greater challenges

How does it relate to blockchain? Quite simple, in fact.

Without a doubt, blockchain technology has a bright future ahead of it. It can be used to optimize financial processes or optimize international trade. This might be very important for one of the most prominent China’s geopolitical strategies, One Belt One Road Initiative. Hypothetically, blockchain might also be integrated into military and grey-zone fields such as espionage, security protocols or data manipulations.

Summing up, those are the reasons why blockchain, instead of cryptocurrencies themselves, will be developed increasingly over the next years, maybe even decades.

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