State-backed blockchain development platform Blockchain Services Network (BSN) has said that the reason it is adopting a twin governance model for its international and domestic versions is to ensure compliance, “notably in China,” and particularly for the public blockchains on the network.

Why it matters: In a rare move for a state-backed project, the BSN is aiming for full transparency in the international version, and has removed Chinese state actors.

  • The twin governance model will appease Chinese regulators while leaving the door to public chains open on international nodes, as TechNode previously reported. The BSN’s interoperability features will ensure that the network will remain unified.

Blockchain Services Network (BSN)
What: A platform for blockchain development, bringing together cloud services and different chain protocols on city nodes.
Why: To reduce the cost of blockchain application design and deployment while powering communication between chains. It will be made available around the world through local cloud providers, ultimately creating a global internet of blockchains.
Who: It is part of the government’s Global Blockchain Strategy unveiled by Chinese President Xi Jinping in November 2019, spearheaded by the China State Information Center, China Mobile, China Union Pay, and Red Date Technology.

“The main motivation is to allow the overall BSN Network to interoperate more freely with public/permissionless blockchain frameworks while being in better compliance with the relevant blockchain regulations and laws around the world, notably in China.”

—Red Date in a statement posted on Medium

Details: The international network will be managed by Red Date Technology, a Beijing-based company that has served as the project’s main architect in conjunction with an independent council formed with global blockchain companies and actors.

  • The BSN will also open-source the international version with the aim to attract more participants and become the de facto “trusted standard for blockchain interoperability.”
  • BSN China will be managed by the four founding members, with the China State Information Center supervising compliance.
  • While the governance is “decoupled,” the two networks remain interoperable. The two versions of the BSN will communicate through five city nodes.
  • Developers will be able to launch a public blockchain application in the international network and a permissioned application in China, making the two interoperable through the BSN’s inter-chain communication protocols.
  • Red Date will be involved in governance of both versions of the network.

“The decoupling ensures the BSN’s core value is available to global developers for both public and private chains, namely easy and cheap access to blockchain development.”

Yifan He, CEO of Red Date Technology

Context: Public chains are not explicitly banned in China but are subject to heavy regulatory scrutiny. Insiders say this is because they do not impose any limitations on who takes part in managing the blockchain, which contains vast amounts of data.

  • At least six public chains have already announced they are working with the BSN, and Red Date said it is expecting 40 to be integrated in the next year.
  • Nervos, which TechNode previously reported would be integrated on the China BSN, will be only on the international version, Red Date said.
  • The BSN’s interoperability protocol is based on IRITA, a permissioned inter-chain framework developed by Shanghai-based Bianjie AI.
  • The BSN has deployed 130 nodes globally, and plans to have 200 nodes in China by the end of the year, Red Date said.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: China’s BSN and Irisnet are building an ‘internet of blockchains’

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.