At a seminar held in Beijing today, the China Center for Information Industry Development (CCID) announced its inaugural monthly Global Public Chain Assessment Index, a ranking of cryptocurrencies and other blockchain projects that the Chinese government considers to possess technological merit.
The CCID is part of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, a state agency of the People’s Republic of China. It is responsible for the regulation and development of technology in the region, as well as the development of the knowledge economy within government.
The intention is to provide a list of projects that researchers can evaluate as they seek to build out their own blockchain applications.
The 28 cryptocurrencies in the inaugural index are: Ark, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, BitShares, ByteCoin, Cardano, Dash, Decred, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Hcash, IOTA, Komodo, Lisk, Litecoin, Monero, NANO, NEM, NEO, QTUM, Ripple, Siacoin, Steem, Stellar, Stratis, Verge, Waves and Zcash.
The announcement from the CCID stated that the intention was to “scientifically evaluate the development level” of blockchain technologies. This is to assist in providing “professional consulting services for the government, enterprises, research institutes, and technology developers.”
The researchers used a number of criteria to select blockchain companies to include in the index, including:
- The project should have its own independent main chain
- Nodes can be freely created
- It should have a published block explorer where block information can be easily tracked
- It needs to run on open source code
- It should have an open website that project team members that are contactable
At the seminar, Zihe Huang, deputy director of the China Electronic Information Industry Development Institute, indicated that particular attention is being paid to industry research, as well as to the technology behind blockchain. The formation of a dedicated CCID Blockchain Research Institute and the China Ecological Blockchain Alliance, will further efforts to organise and improve blockchain technology development, industry and policy research, for the benefit of the Chinese government and society.
Earlier this week, it was announced that China’s government had begun working on national standardsfor blockchain technology and last month, the National Audit of the People’s Republic of China released an article indicating it was looking at blockchain to improve government auditing functions
These announcements demonstrate a marked softening in China’s stance on blockchain and cryptocurrencies since last September. Back then, China’s central bank announced an immediate blanket ban on all initial coin offerings (ICOs). Its more tolerant view of crypto indicates that the Chinese government wants a major role on the world stage in formally reviewing and evaluating blockchain technologies – at a time when independent research-led analysis is not readily available.