The technological competition between the U.S and China will either be won or lost depending on who controls the offerings that govern 21st-century security, commerce, and communications. The United States can’t ignore the fact that China is now ahead of the U.S in Blockchain technology.
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The Position So Far
In February 2019, the United States’ government issued a broad plan for that will facilitate the development of AI (artificial intelligence). However, there is still no government strategy for Blockchain technology. Meanwhile, the United States competitors, China has progressed seriously in its Blockchain efforts in recent years.
The Blockchain is an open, DLT (distributed ledger technology) that efficiently records transactions between parties in a verifiable, permanent model.” For Western nations, technology is transformative. It can be used in power distribution, promote the rule of law, fight crime and corruption, and help in privacy and digital identity protection.
It has to be said that China doesn’t see the Blockchain technology as it is described here. If China becomes the first nation to build a self-controlled Blockchain system, the Asian giant will use this technology to repress its citizens, widen its influence across the world and suppress the Western system that has been in place for centuries.
The Chinese Twofold Blockchain Strategy
China has maintained a twofold Blockchain strategy: heavily investing in Blockchain development, innovation and cracking down Blockchain systems not under its control. The government has invested billions of USD in Blockchain partnerships. In 2017, China filed the most Blockchain patents. Last year, China Development Bank went into a collaborative process with Brazil, Russia, South Africa and India to facilitate Blockchain research.
In the local government level, the country’s government is implementing Blockchain for tax collection, supply-chain management, food and drug safety, etc. China’s People’s Liberation Army is reportedly working on ways to weaponize Blockchain for cyber and data warfare.
China has maintained a strict stance toward cryptos. It has outlawed and banned all virtual currency exchanges within the region. Deeming them a threat to its communist state (government-controlled economy). China is said to be developing an indigenous Blockchain-based central-bank-backed currency.
The Asian giant has launched a crackdown on Blockchain user privacy and freedom of speech. In January of this year, the government reportedly issued regulations requiring that Blockchain firms collect users private data and make the data available to the authorities. The goal is to censor user content.
China’s Regulation of Blockchain Not Just for Indigenous Repression
Experts have warned that China is regulating Blockchain for internal repression and to exert its influence abroad. While the Westerner governments envision the Blockchain as an open system, the Chinese government could build a closed Blockchain system that it can control for its own purposes.
The United States may be behind, but it’s not late after all. In February of 2019, the Chamber of Digital Commerce put a National Action Plan together for Blockchain. This is a call to action for the Trump headed United States government. According to the National Action Plan, the administration should shift from a regulation-based approach to a more Blockchain-friendly environment through a coordinated inter-agency strategy.