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China’s former vice-minister for science and technology believes that blockchain technology is still in its early days of development, Cointelegraph reports.

In an interview with The Paper, Wu Zhongze, a prominent digital economics expert, also said there was still “not much difference between where China and leading economies such as the United States and Europe” stand in terms of blockchain-based ecosystem development.

However, he said China has made progress across a number of sectors that are essential to blockchain development, including hardware manufacturing, platform and security services, industry investment, and financial development.

He added, “With the innovative development of blockchain technology and industry, its application is accelerating, and the scale of the industry continues to increase. This field is expected to become a new economic growth point in the future.”

In what he called the “rapid advancement” of China’s blockchain infrastructure, Wu said distributed technology will bring new opportunities to integrate and develop new technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, data centers, and the industrial Internet.