China’s central bank institute launches first blockchain platform

A research institute under the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has launched a blockchain-based platform, the first of its kind to be launched under China’s central bank. The Hangzhou Blockchain Research Institute, also known as the Zhongchao Blockchain Research Institute, presented its Blockchain Registry Open Platform (BROP) at the Global Financial Science and Technology Summit in Hangzhou on Monday, Tencent News reports.

The platform aims to cut through China’s bureaucracy, daunting both for local and foreign companies. The BROP is an open platform for developing independent intellectual property rights based on blockchain, according to its white paper (in Chinese). The platform will work with partners to make credible records of user identity, certificate data, and digital credentials for enterprise users. It plans to provide verifiable and supervised ownership registries and information on public services.

The Hangzhou Blockchain Research Institute belongs to Zhongchao Credit Card Industry Development, a subsidiary of China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation (CBPMC) under China’s central bank. Zhongchao Credit Card Industry Development, which as the name explains provides technology for Chinese credit cards, is also a member of the Linux Foundation.

“We started the layout of blockchain technology in early 2015 and set up the Zhongchao Blockchain Research Institute last year. Our key focus is the development of blockchain and other emerging financial technologies,” said Fan Guifu, chairman of Zhongchao Credit Card Industry Development.

The Zhongchao Blockchain Technology Research Institute is also a blockchain leader in China. Tencent News reports that the institute has applied for 22 blockchain patents. Zhongchao is ranked 18th in the 2017 Global Blockchain Enterprise Patent Rankings published by IPRdaily. According to the list, Alibaba is the world’s leading enterprise for the number of patents published for blockchain technology, with the Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) in third place. Out of the top 100 companies, 49 were Chinese, 23 from the US.