China Explores Blockchain for Data Collection on its Citizens

Asia Blockchain Review
May 23, 2019

Although Chinese regulators have been hostile towards cryptocurrencies, the government has shown growing interest in the underpinning technology of blockchain, especially as it relates to data collection on its citizens.

In a May 7th editorial, the CCN’s Justin OConnell argued that cryptocurrencies will not survive in China if the government cannot control them. Last month, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) moved to shutter Bitcoin mining operations, as part of an initiative to cease “wasteful and hazardous activities.”

The government’s crackdown on Bitcoin activities appears to have been motivated by wealthy citizens using the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap as a way to bypass strict controls on the movement of money abroad by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).

According to Hong Kong-based investor Jehan Chu, “The NDRC’s move is in line overall with China’s desire to control different layers of the rapidly growing crypto industry.”

Chu said, “I believe China simply wants to ‘reboot’ the crypto industry into one that they have oversight on, the same approach they took with the Internet.”

A statement from the Beijing Internet Court revealed that blockchain has been used to tie evidence and render judgment in 40 cases.

Zhang Wen, President of Beijing Internet Court, said the use of blockchain in the Chinese justice system “fosters social credibility development in the country,” alluding to the government’s initiative to give every citizen a social credit score.

Poor social credit can lead to a Chinese citizen being put on a ‘List of Dishonest Persons Subject to Enforcement.’ Penalties can include restrictions on movement, such as being disqualified from buying a plane ticket.

Source: www.ccn.com


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