This coming weekend on April 26-27, China is set to release a new national Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) to bring relief to the existing problem of the high cost of developing and deploying blockchain applications by providing public blockchain resource environments to developers at Chinese companies.
The underlying intentions of the design and creation of the BSN are to provide a public infrastructure network that allows the low-cost development, deployment, operation, maintenance and regulation of consortium blockchain applications. As a global public network, BSN will support the underlying frameworks of both consortium blockchains and public blockchains. However, portal operators responsible for actual operations should carry out legally compliant filtering and administration in accordance with local laws and regulations concerning the support of underlying frameworks and the deployment of certain blockchain applications.
The international blockchain community is somewhat in awe of the move and ponder how it will affect the global economy in a number of ways.
Jason Wu, CEO of DeFiner.org:
“The launch of China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) will increase the blockchain adoption competition between countries. Soon after the advance announcement of the BSN, the Facebook blockchain project Libra settled with the U.S. Congress to move forward and launch a U.S. dollar-pegged stable coin. This will have a long term educational impact, helping people become more familiar with digital assets and growing the industry. As for the short term, the impact is limited, as the subsequent Chinese blockchain projects on BSN will all be led by a centralized organization and not be wholly supported by the current blockchain consumers-based community.
Looking at this international competition for blockchain adoption — China’s leadership is still in question. In China, Government related R&D, think tanks and stated owned companies are leaders in the field of blockchain. However, the general public or private sector is not as advanced as the U.S. The fundamental principle of blockchain is about decentralization to achieve standardization and to become a public commodity like oil or coal. This usually fails if the project is led by a big organization, as the fundamental consensus is different. BSN will be like a traditional IT platform — it can’t solve the trust issue as there is still a centralized organization to manage the network. For this reason, it is not a blockchain breakthrough nor will it bring fundamental change to society. Decentralized Finance (DeFi), on the other hand, is a truly fundamental change, as it will have a big impact on people’s financial transactions.”
Nick Cowan, CEO of the GSX Group:
“China’s increased appetite for blockchain exploration is a further signal of recognition of the tremendous value this nascent technology can bring to practically every industry. Any entity that can accelerate the growth of breakthrough companies, by producing new and innovative solutions to legacy issues, should be welcomed and encouraged. The creation of the BSN indicates the importance China has put on taking a leading role in the development of blockchain, at a time when swift, decisive action will be key to making a large impact in the future digital global economy.
To be clear, blockchain is still very much in the early stages of development, despite a plethora of exciting solutions that have already come to fruition. Many have predicted that blockchain will become as much an aspect of everyday life as the internet, with vast swathes of citizens owning a wallet for digital assets, or having their documentation and bills handled on the blockchain. At GSX Group we’re using blockchain to transform the capital markets legacy systems, driving efficiencies, removing counterparty risk and lowering costs, from a T+2 model to T Instant. Our work is but one area of blockchain-powered innovation, and if more countries lend their support to bespoke blockchain programmes we could see more innovations like our own across a range of sectors, empowering companies to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.”
“The BSN is probably not the first attempt, but it may be the largest attempt at blockchain adoption by the government of a powerful nation. This move might set off other governments in similar directions, which is a good thing. Another positive thing coming out of BSN is its acceptance of public blockchain. At first, it was widely believed that BSN would only incorporate permissioned blockchain, but it now seems that they will integrate the Ethereum and EOS blockchain too. This is a considerable move and may act as a catalyst for mass adoption.
China, although opposed to cryptocurrency, can undoubtedly be considered as a leader in blockchain space. They have filed the highest number of blockchain patents in the world. For a while now, they have been trying to launch a blockchain-based national currency and have roped in all major sectors including payments, telecom, internet giants etc. to work on BSN. With the launch of BSN, the Chinese government is taking a huge leap in offering a positive environment for the development of an innovative solution. They have made it extremely easy for anyone to plug into their system and use their infrastructure to build through the multiple permissioned and open blockchain incorporated into it. And all of these at a minimal cost of $300.
Despite this, it must be acknowledged that there are concerns that BSN is highly centralised and maybe an attempt by the Chinese government to control this new industry. There aren't many details around this concern available right now. We will have more information when it makes its public launch.”
China has sent a clear signal that blockchain is strategically important on a national level.
The BSN is scheduled to launch this weekend and it's expected that is will drop the cost of deployment down to a few hundred dollars, according to reports.
Also published on Medium.