China to train half a million blockchain experts amid national research centre launch

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Here’s a good example of how you can separate the blockchain signal from the crypto noise: China is to train 500,000 blockchain professionals after launching a national blockchain research centre in Beijing.

The centre, as reported by the South China Morning Post (SCMP) citing state-run media outlet Xinhua, will work with universities, research institutes and companies, as well as establish a ‘national-level blockchain network’ to connect existing blockchains in China as well as other industries. The Beijing Academy of Blockchain and Edge Computing will lead the centre.

The move looks to put clear water between industrial applications of blockchain technology and digital assets in China. Crypto-related activities remain banned in the country, with the most recent hammer coming down in September 2021, although NFTs are slightly more relaxed under the ‘digital collectibles’ banner.

In spite of this China’s fourteenth five-year plan, issued in March of that year, saw the government outline a vested interest in blockchain technologies as part of its ‘new infrastructure’ investments, leading this publication to describe the country’s relationship with digital assets as ‘difficult to assess at the best of times.’

Hong Kong, meanwhile, appears to be moving in a different direction. According to the SCMP, some Hong Kong branches of mainland banks have begun to onboard crypto clients. Some firms have taken separate steps to branch out into the city. Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi is moving its Asia headquarters to Hong Kong from Singapore, reported Nikkei Asia, with entrepreneur Justin Sun citing ‘crypto-friendly policies recently introduced by the government’ as factors. The SCMP report advises that the Hong Kong policy as it relates to the mainland remain separate with no signals of changing.

In January SCMP, citing local financial website Sina Finance, reported that Huang Yiping, a former adviser to China’s central bank, had called for a review of the cryptocurrency ban. Huang noted that a permanent ‘no’ to related products could result in ‘missed opportunities in technologies such as blockchain’, the report noted.

Photo by aboodi vesakaran

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