China’s Blockchain Services Network (BSN) will fully integrate a permissionless blockchain developed by Hangzhou-based Nervos which will allow Chinese developers access to a public chain, a first for the government-backed project.

Why it matters: Nervos’s permissionless, or public, protocol will be made available to all BSN’s nodes, including those in China. This marks a major change in the BSN’s—and by implication, the Chinese government’s—treatment of public chains.

  • Public chains are a touchy topic in China due to their complete decentralization. Permissioned chains, by contrast, delineate specific parties that control the network.
  • The move could also make Bitcoin payments available on the BSN through Nervos. The government cracked down on cryptocurrency trading platforms in 2017 and highly restricts cryptocurrency activities.

Details: Developers will be able to use the Nervos blockchain protocol to build their decentralized applications (dapps), according to a person familiar with the matter. The integration will go live in late July.

  • Nervos is building interoperability with Bitcoin. When achieved, developers will be able to deploy Bitcoin transactions on the BSN.
  • The two companies will officially announce their collaboration within the next two weeks.
  • CEO of Beijing Red Date Technology Yifan He declined to comment.

Context: The BSN aims to make blockchain development cheaper and more accessible to developers around the world. Software engineers can connect to its network of city nodes to access development tools and cloud infrastructure to deploy their dapps.

  • Nervos is the first Chinese permissionless chain to be integrated on the BSN.

Read more: EXCLUSIVE: China’s BSN and Irisnet are building an ‘internet of blockchains’

  • The BSN is already collaborating with permissioned protocols like Baidu’s Xuperchain and Hyperledger’s Fabric, as well as permissionless chains Ethereum and EOS.
  • But these permisionless options are only available to overseas nodes.
  • Nervos is one of China’s most important emerging blockchain companies, backed by Polychain and Sequoia Capital. It touts itself as “Maximally secure, permissionless and censorship-resistant.”
  • Nervos’s chief architect Jan Xie worked directly with one of Ethereum’s co-founders Vitalik Buterin as a core researcher. One of Nervos’s co-founders, Daniel Lv, is the former CTO of Imtoken, the world’s largest Ethereum wallet.
  • The Nervos base layer uses a proof of work algorithm and “inherits the best parts of Bitcoin,” according to the company’s website. The second layer of the protocol empowers developers to build scalable Dapps, smart contracts functionalities, and more.

Eliza was TechNode's blockchain and fintech reporter until July 2021, when she moved to CoinDesk to cover crypto in Asia. Get in touch with her via email or Twitter.