Beijing Releases Blueprint for Blockchain-based Programmable Govt

In line with its two-year blockchain plan, the Beijing Municipal Government has this week released the blueprint of its plan to implement a blockchain-based programmable government in the city. The 145-page blueprint lays out steps on how the Chinese capital will host the blockchain-based governance project and grow with it.

The blueprint’s release follows the Beijing Blockchain Innovation and Development Action Plan (2020-2022) issued last month. The plan, guided by Chinese president Xi Jinping’s new era of socialist ideology, seeks to see the city of Beijing transform into an influential blockchain science and technology innovation base among other things. The city also seeks to take the lead in the formation of blockchain-enabling economic and social development for Beijing’s high-quality economic development to continue.

The action plan is aimed at helping the city strengthen blockchain-based research as a core technology, build its underlying open-source technology platform and ecology as well as a trusted information infrastructure system based on blockchain and promote the construction of a blockchain standard system. Beijing also wants to build a new type of world-class blockchain R&D institution and promote government services like data sharing and business collaboration.

Now, in anticipation of building a “programmable society”, some of the city’s set objectives are already being achieved, according to the council. It cites that the application of blockchain in the field of government services has enabled 140 specific scenario applications including in the promotion of data sharing, business synergies and for the prevention, control and recovery from an outbreak.

The programmable government enabled by the use of blockchain technology will be the form of government application in the blockchain 3.0 era, the blueprint indicates, adding that blockchain will be crucial for digital economy and a digital society because of its technical trust mechanism as a credible infrastructure in the new generation in which information technology plays a key role in promoting the development of the programmable society.

While recognizing that the technology is still at the early stage of development, Beijing notes that it would continue to optimize the business environment, improve the service experience, and further promote the modernization of its governance system and capabilities as it strives to build a foothold in the capital city.

UNCTAD had noted in a report last year that the economic geography of the digital economy does not display a traditional North-South divide. Rather, it is consistently being led by one developed and one developing country: the United States and China, it says, citing that the two countries account for 75% of all patents related to blockchain technologies, 50% of global spending on IoT, and more than 75%  of the world market for public cloud computing. They also account for 90% of the market capitalization value of the world’s 70 largest digital platforms while Europe covers 4% and Africa and Latin America together is only 1%.

This understanding shows that there is a tendency for the blockchain development and adoption push in China’s capital city to cause other major cities  – not just in China – to follow suit thus leading to an unprecedented example of how blockchain could be used in governing millions of people. The further implementation of the set-out objectives in Beijing’s blueprint, even as China’s economy is reported to be the first to start a recovery process from the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, will shed more light on what to expect in coming months.

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