Andrew Keys, the head of global business development at Consensus Systems, better known as ConsenSys, recently shared the details of his trip to China along with the Ethereum Foundation and the explosive growth of Ethereum Keys and the Ethereum Foundation observed in the country.
Last week, Keys and the Ethereum Foundation were invited to the Global Blockchain Financial Summit held in Hangzhou. They planned a five day trip across China to visit various cities and regions that are accelerating the growth of the Ethereum industry and market in the country.
Inside Chinese Ethereum Lab
During their trip to China, Keys and the Ethereum Foundation discovered that various prominent institutions and organizations including China’s top-ranked educational institution Peking University and state-owned corporations were actively developing applications and platforms on top of the Ethereum protocol.
Peking University, in particular, went as far as to create a center that is dedicated to the implementation and development of Ethereum applications.
“Peking University is creating an Ethereum Laboratory to work on protocol improvements and application use cases that affect China, specifically in supply chain and energy markets.”
The Ethereum team also ran into the Royal Chinese Mint, one of the major units of China Banknote Printing and Minting, which has been allocating their resources and development teams to digitalize the Chinese yuan, also known as renminbi (RMB), using Ethereum tokens.
Such active development conducted by a state-owned and government-funded organization is crucial to the mainstream adoption of Ethereum throughout China because it legitimizes the network within the country and convinces companies in the private sector to explore, research and implement Ethereum.
Explaining the project being led by the Royal Chinese Mint, Keys said, “The Royal Chinese Mint is experimenting with the ERC 20 token standard and Ethereum smart contracts to digitize the RMB.”
Promoting Ethereum across the country
Apart from educational and financial organizations, Keys further emphasized that local Blockchain consortia and research institutions approved by the Chinese government are also leading the development and innovation of Ethereum in the country.
According to Keys, Jiangsu Huaxin BIockchain Research Institute (JBI), an organization approved by the provincial government of China, is playing an important role in promoting and spreading the adoption of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) framework across China, working with individuals and businesses in the region.
“Currently, JBI focuses mainly on Blockchain technology application to industry and personnel training service. JBI has 30 developers and researchers focused solely on Ethereum and have recently translated much of the Ethereum and EEA documentation into Mandarin. JBI will be a powerhouse in the Ethereum-ecosystem and will become a beachhead for corporations outside of China.”
Alibaba, Alipay and their experiments with Blockchain
Most importantly, China’s largest fintech company Ant Financial, a subsidiary of Alibaba which operates the world’s most valuable fintech application Alipay by market capitalization, is focusing on the development and implementation of Ethereum to enhance their existing operations and build alternative infrastructures for long-term growth.
Keys noted that Ant Financial is experimenting with Ethereum to improve its global payment platforms.
Previously, on January 22, Cointelegraph reported that Alipay, the $60 bln fintech giant, was planning to adopt Blockchain in the near future to improve its ecosystem and financial infrastructure. At the time, Ant Financial CEO Eric Jing stated:
"We have an ambition to be a global company. So my vision (is) that we want to serve 2 bln people in the next 10 years by using technology, by working together with partners … to serve those underserved."