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China has been wary of the decentralized capabilities of blockchain, and they’ve devised a solution that gives them back control.
In April, the Chinese government rolled out the Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN). The system has attracted about 6000 enterprise, government and individual users in China. Part of the goal of BSN is to create low-cost access to a public blockchain.
Many are wary of the intentions of the Chinese government. Ashish Singhal, CEO of Coinswitch.co, said that “it must be acknowledged that there are concerns that BSN is highly centralized 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.”
In July, the Beijing-based company Red Date Technology announced that they plan to integrate as many as 100 different current blockchains into the BSN.
Despite the fact that BSN is being driven by the Chinese government, and domestic services are primarily hosted by China Mobile, outside of China, it uses US-backed cloud data centers, like Google cloud in Tokyo, Microsoft in Johannesburg, and AWS in Paris and California.
Graham Webster, China digital economy fellow at New America, said that “if I were the Chinese company, I would be careful about setting up a system that really depends on continued services in the U.S. Anybody who wants to use the global version of this Chinese network should take into account the risk that a data center in the U.S. could get taken off the network because of geopolitics.”