The 2018 China International Big Data Industry Expo opened on May 26th, in the city of Guiyang. The Expo, which has been running for four consecutive years, is a massive event which has become a benchmark for showcasing and discussing the latest big data developments around the world. Blockchain technology was a highlight at the Expo, with various experts discussing blockchain technology in dialogues and keynote speeches.
During a blockchain panel at Expo, some experts have pointed out that currently 90% of blockchain projects are still being carried out in laboratories rather than in the real world. The lack of blockchain maturity outside the lab hinders the practical applications of the technology. However, Lei Chen, CEO of Xunlei, one of China’s leading cloud and blockchain technology companies, argued otherwise at the Expo.
He asserted that although blockchain is in its infancy, developments to the technology are happening at an unprecedented speed. Lei disclosed that Xunlei has already launched a super blockchain, known as ThunderChain, which can process over a million transactions per second.
ThunderChain supports widespread usage in a variety of fields and is already being employed by many developers to pioneer their own applications. For example, one startup company is planning to use the platform to facilitate gene analysis and testing. For these reasons, Lei believes that 2018 or 2019 will be the Golden Age for blockchain maturation.
Don Tapscott, author of The Blockchain Revolution, argued that blockchain technology represents the evolution of the Internet, and will bring prosperity as well as fairness to society. This is because the Internet has traditionally delivered information, whereas blockchain will deliver value.
This year’s Expo attracted around 40,000 guests, including leaders from Global 500 companies and Chinese governments, 30 prominent academics, and 400 exhibitors and media organizations. The theme of the 2018 Expo was “Big Data Makes a Smarter World”.
In an important moment at the Expo, an official from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said in a keynote speech that China is poised to have a national standardization committee for blockchain by the end of the year. The goal of standardization, according to MIIT, is to “expedite blockchain deployment in areas that most urgently need the nascent tech”.
There’s therefore little doubt that the Chinese government is supportive to unleash the power of blockchain technology for real economies, and this commitment goes back at least as far as 2016, when blockchain was added to China’s 13th five-year plan for National Informatization. The plan proposes to make China a leader in cutting edge information and digital technologies by 2020, and the inclusion of blockchain in the plan highlights its importance in the eyes of state officials.
And on May 28th, President Xi Jinping advocated the technology by saying at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ nineteenth annual conference in Beijing that blockchain was part of a new generation of technologies that represent “breakthroughs”.
With the full policy backing of the government, innovative companies like Xunlei continue to promote prospects of blockchain development and enable the technology to be used by companies and users in a beneficial and effective manner. For example, Xunlei’s blockchain-based cloud computing business model was cited by a whitepaper published by MIIT, as an endeavor to lower bandwidth cost through innovation, improve internet speed, save energy and protect environment.