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China launches national blockchain center to train half a million specialists

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On May 10, the National Blockchain Technology Innovation Center, first announced in February, officially started its work in the Chinese capital city of Beijing. The center will collaborate with local universities, think tanks and blockchain businesses to develop blockchain technology in China. The institution will reportedly train more than 500,000 specialists in distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Leading the new center is the Beijing Academy of Blockchain and Edge Computing, which developed the ChainMaker blockchain; a home-grown blockchain serving as a blueprint for the center’s developments. ChainMaker is already supported by a group of 50 business corporations, most of which are state-owned, including big names like China Construction Bank and China Unicom. As reported by local media, the center will accelerate the construction of “ultra-large-scale” blockchain computing power clusters.

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According to Zheng Zhiming, a professor at the School of Mathematics and Systems Science at Beihang University, the center’s mission is to connect various blockchain use cases in the country — so-called “blockchain islands” — into a single cohesive network:

“Connecting blockchain application platforms and aggregating blockchain application ecology will significantly enhance blockchain innovation capabilities and core competitiveness.“

With the crackdown on cryptocurrencies still in force, the Chinese government continues to actively research the digital economy’s possibilities. Chinese companies are studying methods to develop artificial intelligence via weaker semiconductors and combinations of chips to bypass reliance on a single type of high-tech hardware imported mainly from the United States.

The country is also marching ahead with its central bank digital currency project. In April, it announced expanding the use cases for the digital yuan to its “Belt and Road” initiative and cross-border trades.

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