China will aim to release national blockchain standards by the end of next year, The Cointelegraph has reported, citing information from the local press.
Speaking to Xinxua’s Economic Information Daily (EID) earlier today, Li Ming, director of the Blockchain Research Office at the standards institute under the auspices of China’s IT Ministry, said that a dedicated working group had already started working on the project. Various government agencies are involved with the group, which will be called the Blockchain and Distributed Accounting Technology Standardization Committee.
EID reports that the Chinese government does not expect the new legislation to “quickly advance the development of the [blockchain] industry” in the country. According to the news outlet, Li indicated that the new standards “will give the industry some guidance”.
While China has imposed significant restrictions on its cryptocurrency sector, including bans on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and domestic digital currency exchanges, the country’s authorities have remained interested in blockchain’s potential. In early April, the head of the Blockchain Research Working Group at China's National Internet Finance Association (NIFA), Li Lihui, said that the country needed to develop better regulatory frameworks to foster the future growth of blockchain technology. Speaking at the 2018 Bo’Ao Forum for Asia, Li said that developing such a framework would be one of NIFA’s priorities this year.
Also in April, the director of the Institute of Digital Currency at the People’s Republic of China Yao Qian wrote an opinion piece, listing the tech’s various benefits, such as its security, reliability, use of smart contracts and a peer-to-peer system. However, he also touched upon the technology’s shortcomings, for example, its inability to scale. Yao said that these shortcomings needed to be resolved in order for it to “become the financial infrastructure of the future”, according to The Cointelegraph, which covered the story.