Government based Research Institute launches Blockchain-As-A-Service Platform in China
The China Banknote Blockchain Technology Research Institute declared at the March 26 FinTech summit which was hosted by the government of Hangzhou that it will unveil its new blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, the Blockchain Registry Open Platform (BROP). The Hangzhou-based Institute is a subordinate of the Chinese Banknote Printing & Minting Corporation, run by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC.)
BROP, described by the research institute’s website is a program that enables users to authenticate their identities and to share, search, and validate information and records on the blockchain, with the final goal of promoting “trusted collaboration.” According to the BROP whitepaper, the BaaS platform will aim to encourage projects as diverse as food-tracking, medical big data systems, “identity registration and authorization,” and coupon circulation. BROP defines itself as “a comprehensive solution for distribution, registration, supervision, and transfer of digital certificates based on the blockchain.”
Block-X is another blockchain-related offering listed on the Research Institute’s website which strives to provide a service towards helping financial sector players build Dapps atop the Ethereum Virtual Machine and, seemingly, in other blockchain environments.
There is one more research being conducted by the Institute on “the structure of statutory digital currency in China” and other digital services related to the system of the currency of the People’s Republic of China. It’s uncertain if the group is leading the recently-announced development of the Digital Currency (for) Electronic Payment at the PBoC.
Most of China’s leading tech firms seem to display a keen interest in blockchain technology, including firms such as Tencent and Baidu, who offer their own BaaS platforms.
However, one primary concern in government gatherings seems to be the concern about officially centralizing blockchain networks, which perhaps tend toward decentralization as a result of their architecture. This was discussed in a January op-ed by PBoC deputy governor Fan Yifei, which called for a digital currency that would enable the bank alone to verify transaction data.
Recently, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology revealed plans for a National Blockchain and Distributed Accounting Technology Standardization Committee, which will recommend standards regarding “blockchain reference architectures, data format specifications, interoperability, and smart contracts.”
In another development earlier this month, the government-affiliated China Investment Association announced its plans to launch the International Blockchain Investment and Development Center to support the growth of the country’s blockchain sector through investment and other strategies.