With blockchain technology promising to help optimize different parts of both private and public life, several companies and governments have dedicated their considerable resources to exploring it on several fronts. However, research has confirmed that no one has done enough more with the technology than China.
Chinese Companies Reign Supreme
A report from Chinese news source IPR Daily confirmed that Chinese companies had taken the top spot in terms of global blockchain patent applications, with Chinese companies taking a staggering 7 out of the top 10 spots in its rankings.
The rankings showed that billionaire Jack Ma’s tech conglomerate Alibaba and the firm’s payment processor subsidiary Alipay, has taken the top spot in terms of global blockchain patent filings, with 1,505 patents alone. That number marks over twice that of the second company, Tencent. The Chinese tech firm and its 724 patents came in second.
The top five is rounded by Chinese insurance giant Ping An Group, Antiguan blockchain development firm nChain, and Chinese banking institution WeBank. The three firms have had 561, 402, and 282 blockchain patents, respectively.
It’s not entirely surprising that the country will have such a significant amount of blockchain clout. China holds a majority stake in the world’s Bitcoin mining market, even though Bitcoin has been outlawed in the country more than once. The government has also done its bid to bring about a “blockchain revolution,” as it continues to test the technology’s application in several forms.
The rankings, however, didn’t sit well with everyone. Most notable amongst its detractors was Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum.
In a tweet published earlier this morning, the Russian programmer said, “If you’re bragging about how many “blockchain patents” your country/company/organization has, you don’t understand blockchains.”
While there have been several arguments concerning the semantics of rankings as a result of Buterin’s tweet, one thing that seems obvious to everyone is that the Chinese are all in on blockchain and will continue to test the technology going forward.
The Digital Yuan is Moving at a Steady Pace
Apart from private Chinese firms, however, the government has also done its fair share with blockchain. As stated earlier, the government has worked to bring a blockchain revolution. Perhaps nothing encapsulates this more than the proposed Digital Yuan, which the government appears to already be in the early phase of implementing.
Earlier this week, local news source Interchain Pulse reported that the government has started testing its Digital Yuan in the city of Xiong’an, which is close to Beijing.
As the report explained, the initiative is part of the Xiong’an Smart City program, which started last September. The program includes companies, education institutions, and research institutes coming together, and names like Huawei, Tencent, Alibaba Group, Baidu, and others are serving on its board of directors.
Interchain pulse also reported that a promotion conference for the asset held on Tuesday, with all stakeholders in attendance. Apart from the names mentioned, representatives from the Xiong’an branch of the National Development and Reform Committee and the People’s Bank of China were also in attendance.
Xiong’an will be the first place where the pilot program will launch, although the government reportedly has plans to conduct trials in Shenzhen, Chengdu, and Suzhou as well.