China has begun establishing national standards for blockchain technology, hoping to complete the process by the end of 2019.

While cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) are prohibited in China, both regional and national governments have shown increasing support for the technology behind these platforms.  Chinese authorities are looking at implementing top-level, or “top down,” standards to compete in the global market.

According to reports, the plan for the standards has been published, and a committee to handle their development will be set up.

The standards will include requirements for interoperability, safety, and reliability, according to Li Ming, director of the Blockchain Research Office of the Electronic Industry Standards Research Institute of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The government believes the technology can lead a new round of technological innovation and new industry development. However, with the standards, the authorities hope to mitigate risk associated with blockchain applications. According to Chinese researchers, blockchain technologies caused losses of  $2.86 billion between 2011 and 2018. They said 2018 alone accounted for $1.9 billion of this total.

In March, China’s national government set up the Blockchain Registry Open Platform (BROP) through the country’s central bank. It aims to develop intellectual property rights on the blockchain.

Numerous local governments around the country are also pushing the development of the technology. In April, Shenzhen announced its first blockchain venture capital fund. The initiative is led by Shenzhen Angel Capital Guiding Fund. Hangzhou has been looking at its development after setting up a Blockchain Industrial Park.

Additionally, the technology was high on the agenda at Guangxi Autonomous Region’s annual “Two Sessions” meeting in January. Liu Jianhong, deputy secretary of the region’s Science and Technology Department, said it could bring new industries to the area and revitalize existing sectors.

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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