While Bitcoin, but extension blockchain, is supposed to be a tool of decentralisation intended to give power back to the people, in China, that narrative is very different. The People’s Republic has been very firm in their stance on cryptocurrency, and has been looking to control the blockchain space.
China was one of the first countries to put a full-out ban on Bitcoin and others when it first banned ICOs, then shut off access to exchanges, effectively killing off the decentralized cryptocurrency industry in the nation. However, the blockchain side of things has still been a big part of the government’s plans, and the investment patterns show this.
Blockchain technology first started booming in China, and for much of the rest of the world, in 2018 when the price of Bitcoin sank and attentions drifted elsewhere. But, late in 2019, China redoubled its commitment to blockchain in a landmark speech by the president.
This up and down from the Chinese government in the blockchain space has been witnesses in its blockchain investment that was 40 percent lower in 2019 as compared with the year before. What this means for 2020 could be very interesting to note.
Why 2019 was a low point
It may seem strange that 2019 was so much lower in terms of investor interest in the blockchain space across China given the outline from the government to focus efforts in the space. However, it must be remembered that the speech from China only came in the latter part of the year.
Over the course of 2019, China totally had 245 investment and financing deals, which is nearly 60% less than in the preceding year. The total amount spent in blockchain investment deals has accounted for 24.4 billion Chinese yuan ($3.6 billion) with the report showing that the figure dropped 40.8% in 2019 compared to 2018.
The late interest in 2019 is sure to blame for the drop in interest year over year, but what it does setup is an interesting position for China heading into 2020 where its efforts will more than likely be intensified. Already in 2019, after the speech, VC investment was on the rise, as was mining efforts in Sichuan with a feeling of relaxed regulation in crypto ascending on the country,
A technological superpower
What this information outlines is that the Chinese government is well in control of the blockchain sector. Interest and growth only follows the government’s desire for the technology. In saying that, the Chinese look to be wanting to leverage blockchain for the next industrial revolution which will no doubt be a big technological one including AI and other sectors which they already lead.