IOTA’s director of technology, Edward Greve, has attended a major blockchain summit in mainland China, arguably the biggest such gathering of the year. This has led IOTA buyers to speculate that IOTA may be able to gain ground in China. China remains one of the most active markets for blockchain, even though the trade of digital assets has been greatly restricted in recent years. IOTA seems a natural fit for China’s growing smart economy, one typified by the Internet of Things and large scale automation.
Not a lot of word has slipped out about what went down at the November 19-20 “2018 Blockchain New Economy Hangzhou Summit”. Much of this is due to the addresses being delivered in Chinese, with few translations available in the west. However, we do know that the Summit was sponsored by the Chinese government, not simply allowed by it. IOTA’s presence is, therefore, highly conspicuous, proving the Tangle distributed ledger technology is on the Chinese government’s radar.
Where China Stands Today With Blockchain Technology
If you’re an investor in blockchain assets like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and NEO (NEO), you might be forgiven for thinking that China hates blockchain. After all, these assets can scarcely by traded in China, and Chinese mainland blockchain companies have been significantly restricted in what they can actually do in the Chinese economy.
But this doesn’t mean that China doesn’t believe in blockchain. In fact, China is more active in blockchain than almost any other nation. President Xi Jinping has even spoken explicitly on the subject:
“A new generation of technology represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information, mobile communications, the internet of things, and blockchain is accelerating breakthrough applications.”
China has numerous other blockchain bona fides. The bulk of Bitcoin hash power resides in mainland China. China also owns more patents for blockchain technology than any other country, taking up about half of the 406 worldwide patent applications submitted in 2017. Chinese companies comprised 57 of the top 100 blockchain-active companies in the world in the same year. Alibaba, Tencent, and Bitmain each have numerous patents in the industry.
The People’s Republic of China has restricted its citizens’ investment options for decades, so it only makes sense that it would prevent the free trade of blockchain-derived assets. However, China is also famous for hoarding new technology in its attempt to create a technological socialist state far beyond the capabilities of any other world power. For this reason, it has been a significant mover in automation and internet technologies, both of which have numerous integration points with blockchain. If IOTA (MIOTA) can make a splash in China, it could be on a course for mainstream success the world over.