On the one side, China has a very controversial attitude towards cryptocurrency, and, on the other side, the blockchain.
First of all, it has always been the mining homeland on a large scale. In fact, the largest mining pool in the world (BTC.com) is Chinese, and controls about 27% of all the Bitcoin hashpower available. In addition, the second one, AntPool, which controls about 13% of the haspower, is not only Chinese, but is even under the same owner of the first (Bitmain).
Therefore, the Chinese Bitmain company, alone, controls about 40% of Bitcoin’s world power.
Even according to Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, China actually controls more than 50% of Bitcoins.
However, in China it is formally forbidden to exchange fiat currency with Bitcoin, so much so that there isn’t any cryptocurrency exchange which can operate on Chinese continental territory (the existing ones had to move elsewhere). Furthermore, in order to prevent citizens from accessing to any exchanges, China is also using the Great Firewall to block access from its territory to foreign exchange websites.
Nevertheless, the Chinese continue to exchange and use Bitcoin: BTC exchange volume in China on Localbitcoins, for example, have been reduced, but without rollover. In fact, today, June 2018, they are more or less at the same levels as in September 2017.
Even the richest Bitcoin wallet in the world, after those of the main exchange, would seem to be Chinese: 1KAt6STtisWMMVo5XGdos9P7DBNNsFfjx7, with more than 80,000 BTC (equivalent to about 550 million dollars).
Finally, there is NEO. A Chinese cryptocurrency, developed in China in 2014 with the name of AntShares, and somehow “alternative” to Ethereum.
Then, the attitude of China towards cryptocurrency is at least controversial. Not to mention incomprehensible …
Instead, in regarding to the Blockchain, the attitude of China is clear: it wants to become one of the world’s leading countries on the project development related to this technology.
There are already many initiatives in this regard.
They are planning to use blockchain to manage various projects: from paper checks to insurance related to hospital services. This means that they’ve already came a long way.
Not just in words: while some projects are still under development (or study), others, such as insurance, are already active.
Even during a television program broadcast on Chinese state television, the conductor Chen Weihong said that the blockchain economic value would be “10 times higher than the Internet”.
So, although China shows that it has doubts about cryptocurrencies (even though it uses them), it doesn’t seem to have doubts about the blockchain. It’s certainly that, even if in reality the doubts that Chinese country has towards the cryptocurrencies, seem more formal than substantial, also because the Chinese population in the concrete seems to think about it in another way.
It cannot be excluded that the State of China is in the process of committing itself to the development of companies that deal with technological innovation in this sector, probably with the aim of becoming a global leader.
In short, the honeymoon between China and Blockchain could have just begun, and it could also take a long time.