As part of its grand strategy to lead the digital transformation of the world economy, China is about to launch its national blockchain platform internationally.
If it works as envisioned, companies and software developers will be able to plug into the BSN and build blockchain-based applications as easily as assembling Lego sets.
But the ultimate goal may go well beyond technical support for coders. It will become the only global infrastructure network that is innovated by China, whose gateway access is controlled by China.
As such, the project has geopolitical and macroeconomic implications. The move is very much like the ‘One Belt One Road Initiative’ in which China provides other countries with infrastructure and gains some first-mover advantage.
The Chinese government envisioned a variety of use cases. These included smart city applications, which use sensors connected to the internet to collect data and glean insights for managing public resource.
It also listed identity registration and data storage as opportunities for BSN. China has the ambition to be the technology leader in the world. And I think they might have enough technology chops to pull this off, at least within the blockchain industry.
China files the most blockchain patents in the world,“ Yeung said. “They got the most important infrastructure companies on board: banks, telecom and internet giants.
Part of the network’s mission, once it is proven to be efficient and scalable in China, is to go abroad. Hong Kong and Singapore are among the 56 cities where the alliance is testing the network first.
The BSN itself is not a blockchain protocol. Rather, it’s a centralized platform that has done the heavy lifting for developers so they can plug in and code, choosing from several enterprise blockchain protocols or public chains.
The goal is to reduce their operational costs, improve flexibility and provide better regulatory oversight.
Designed to unify the fragmented market, BSN is a cross-cloud, cross-portal and cross-framework public network that enables developers to easily and affordably develop, deploy, operate and maintain blockchain applications and nodes.
The low price, only $300 per year, will encourage a vast number of small and medium-sized enterprises and individuals, including students, to use the BSN to invent and innovate, thereby accelerating the rapid development and widespread use of blockchain technology.
Because the protocols are adapted to support interoperability, developers will have more flexibility to switch from one to the other, the whitepaper said. The top-down approach enables China to build a large-scale network quickly while avoiding regulatory red tape.
Beijing has joined hands with various Chinese tech giants to form a national blockchain committee that aims to set the standard for blockchain adoption in the country. The committee includes Tencent Holdings, Huawei Technologies, Baidu, among few others.
Asia Times / ABC Flash Point News 2020.