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Blockchain heralds 'new era' of finance, management

By Chen Meiling ( China Daily)

Updated: 2017-06-01

Administrative and financial services benefit from new web-based system, Chen Meiling reports.

Southwest China's Guizhou province is perhaps best known for its soy-flavored Moutai white liquor. But in the future, people might also associate it with a technical term - blockchain.

"Three years ago, we realized big data is not just a technology, but a resource and an industry for a new era," said Chen Gang, Guiyang's former chief of the Communist Party of China and former member of the Guizhou CPC standing committee. He was speaking at a high-level dialogue on blockchain technology during the 2017 China International Big Data Expo held in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou, from May 25-28.

"Today, we see the blockchain as an integrated technology that could lead to digital reform and reconstruction of the order (of the industry). It could be a major turning point."

Blockchain heralds 'new era' of finance, management

Guiyang published a white paper in December 2016 to explain how the government could use blockchain technology to optimize governance, boost economic growth and enhance people's livelihood in the coming years.

The technology allows participants to track items or transactions on a shared digital ledger, where any new transaction will be added at the end of the chain and all records are error-free and impossible to be tampered with, according to the paper.

As stated in the white paper released by the Guiyang government, the application of blockchain technology can include sharing government data, supervision of power, targeted poverty alleviation and intelligent transportation, as well as supply chain finance and credit authentication for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Guiyang cooperated with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in May concerning the management of a poverty alleviation fund through the emergence of the new blockchain technology.

Guizhou allocated 1.57 million yuan ($229,000), the first of many poverty relief funds, through the blockchain management platform on May 17.

Wang Jingdong, vice-president of ICBC, said at the big data expo in Guiyang that the key to fund management lies in transparency and effective targeting.

"Guizhou, for example, set aside an overall fund of up to 300 billion yuan to target 4.93 million poor residents with more than 300 departments involved," he said.

"The blockchain, which allows traceable and unchangeable trading records, can make the whole process transparent and avoid corruption."

Moreover, the bank's financial services and the government's administrative examination and approval process can be linked through the shared ledger by contracts constructed in the blockchain, he added.

The technology can also improve efficiency due to the digitization of approval and financial services. The government can observe real-time demand, payment and usage of funds through the platform.

Guo Rui, leader of Tencent's financial data and blockchain business, said: "The most important part between individuals is trust. The blockchain can reconstruct this kind of trust, thus realizing the flow of value," Guo said.

Tencent released its blockchain application white paper in April. It developed a blockchain product, TrustSQL, to provide trading, supervision, data analysis and risk control services for enterprises, which will be released on June 30.

Liu Duo, president of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, said the blockchain would become an indispensable part of the internet in the future.

"The technology will be improved with broader application and closer links to the cloud. The security and reliability of data in the blockchain should be enhanced. It will gradually become an important tool for regulation technology," said Liu.

Guiyang, at very early stage, has put forward 12 applicable circumstances for blockchain technology, including targeted poverty-alleviation, data trading, assets circulation and data supervision, said Chen Gang.

"Now the city has a very good industrial system and has attracted more than 100 enterprises to engage in entrepreneurship and innovation here," he said.

In the next step, they will accelerate the combination of the technology and real-world application, provide services for blockchain enterprises and institutions and establish more technological and applicable platforms.

The government has set aside an innovation fund of up to 651 million yuan to invest in blockchain companies, according to Chen.

 Blockchain heralds 'new era' of finance, management

Visitors to the 2017 China International Big Data Expo experience an online VR war game in a simulated tank.Yang Jun / China Daily

Blockchain heralds 'new era' of finance, management 

Experts meet at the Blockchain Sovereign Management and Application Innovation Summit during the expo.Provided To China Daily

(China Daily 06/01/2017 page10)

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