According to a report released on Wednesday from a local source in China, the People’s Bank of China has opened up a new research center to study digital currency. This comes at a time when the PBoC has been more forward about encouraging blockchain development, now expanding their efforts far outside just Beijing.
As per the report, the fintech center will be located in Nanjing which is the capital of the Jiangsu province in eastern side of the country. The center was created out of a partnership with the city’s government. The purported goal of this new fintech center is to pilot new programs involving digital currency and blockchain technology. For example, the center will be collaborating with banks and existing academic institutions to make this a reality. The other co-founders of the center will also be involved which includes the Bank of Jiangsu and the University of Nanjing. This bodes well for the future of blockchain development in China since we are seeing more and more that the government has been taking concrete steps to further research this burgeoning space.
The research center in Jiangsu comes just after a few months of the Digital Currency Research Lab’s establishment in the southern city of Shenzhen. As per Chinese business registrations, Shenzhen Fintech Limited was legally registered by this lab on June 16th. With a starting grant amount of $300,000 the Digital Currency Research Lab is expected to be a high-quality and well-funded establishment, but its relationship with the new research center in Jiangsu is still unknown.
The PBoC has been quite active in its involvement in the blockchain space as of late. Although China has shown some hesitance in regards to cryptocurrency as actual currency and as an asset class, the underlying technology behind it interests them. For example, despite banning ICOs and much of Bitcoin mining in the country, even shutting down some exchanges, they are still investing large amounts of state funds into blockchain development. This, in and of itself, should indicate that the technology is here to stay but China’s hostility towards the space as a whole should still be noted.
According to CoinDesk on Tuesday, PBoC also entered a new phase in their development for blockchain-based trading. The platform sponsored by the PBoC is expected to be for small businesses but is now initially open to larger commercial banks. The idea behind it is that blockchain development can ease some of the many costs associated with trading and moving assets.
In all, it seems that the PBoC will continue to ramp up efforts in blockchain development during a time when they want to further distance themselves from the dollar. By using a blockchain model to eliminate third-party overhead costs, China might be on the precipice of a major technological revolution spurred by blockchain technology.