Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

So just how keen is Beijing on blockchain? Well, think about this. In 2017, more than half the world’s 406 blockchain-related patents in 2017 came from China.

While the Chinese government has implemented a raft of highly-reported bans around crypto-currency ICOs and trading in the country, Beijing has in recent months been far more open to development in blockchain technology and, according to the Financial Times, the country is now filing more blockchain related patents than the rest of the world put together.

China filed 225 and 59 patents in 2017 and 2016 respectively, while the US filed 91 and 21 in 2017 and 2016 and Australia took third place with 13 and 19 blockchain-related patents applications.

Earlier this month, Chinese-language publication The Paper announced that the government-linked Investment Association of China was planning to create an international-facing blockchain “Investment Development Centre” aimed at introducing industry standards and creating alliances and investment funds, while in February, in a seemingly related announcement, Coin Telegraph reported that the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology had published a list of objectives to encourage the development and standardization of the technology sector.

The objectives will span blockchain technology and will recommend standards “in blockchain reference architectures, data format specification, interoperability and smart contracts.”

In recent weeks, China’s tech giants, Alibaba, Baidu, Huawei and Tencent, have all announced plans for blockchain-based service platforms, while state-owned Bank of China applied in February for a patent related to a blockchain “scalability solution” that aims to solve storage issues that arise as increasingly large amounts of transactions mount on a ledger.

Yes, China is very much on the blockchain.