A blockchain infrastructure backed by the Chinese government will open its services to decentralized applications (dapp) developers on a global scale on August 10.
The move is part of China’s plan to be the one and only infrastructure provider for blockchain firms across the world. That effort resembles the country’s aggressive international expansion in other major emerging technologies such as 5G and artificial intelligence.
This global expansion is notable, given that China’s attempts to lead in other technologies have been disrupted. The Trump administration issued a new rule in May to prevent Chinese tech conglomerate Huawei, a leader in 5G technology, and its suppliers from using U.S. technology and software. The U.K. has also barred Huawei from its 5G networks.
Yet China’s global blockchain ambitions have been a smooth sail.
The global version of Blockchain-Based Services Network (BSN) has integrated its data centers with six major decentralized blockchains: Tezos, NEO, Nervos, Cosmos’ IRISnet, Ethereum and EOS. The developers on these public chains can run nodes and applications using data storage, bandwidth and other resources provided by BSN.
The public chains could benefit from BSN’s cheap services, interoperability with other Chinese enterprise blockchains and access to financial data from China UnionPay, which is otherwise difficult for foreign-based blockchain firms to obtain and process.
“The move is a milestone as BSN is the first state-backed blockchain infrastructure that is reaching developer communities outside China by integrating with major public chains,” said Yifan He, CEO of Beijing Red Date Technology, one of the founding companies behind BSN.
The nationwide blockchain infrastructure project was launched in April. It is led by the State Information Center of China (SIC) and supported by state-owned tech conglomerates China Mobile and China UnionPay, and Red Date, which architects BSN’s technical framework.
SIC is a public institution under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the highest economic planning agency in the Chinese government. The institution has been one of the principal architects behind China’s national information security policies, and monitors and processes macroeconomic data for policymakers.
The six blockchain projects are BSN’s first batch of decentralized public blockchains to run on the network across its three data centers in Paris, San Francisco and Hong Kong, He said.
“We’ve taken a lot of thoughts about who would be the first public chains to be integrated,” He said. “Besides Ethereum and EOS we have disclosed in April, we decided to include another international public chain Tezos, and two prominent China-originated projects NEO and Nervos.”
BSN aims to on-board more than 10 public chains by the end of this year based on their user bases, technical background and products, He said.
Cloud services for blockchain
Guoning Lü, co-founder of Nervos, said BSN can support a tailored infrastructure service for blockchain developers, noting that projects need to be able to run nodes on such an infrastructure to operate.
“Essentially, blockchain firms are using standardized internet services from BSN as opposed to adjusting their own technical frameworks to use such services,” Lü said.
The standardized development environment could save a lot of time and money for developers from building things from scratch, Lü said.
“For example, validation nodes require a high level of security protection to prevent them from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks (one of the most common cyber attacks that make a network unavailable to its users),” Harriet Cao, co-founder of IRISnet Foundation, said.
BSN will hide the complexities of these security features in its operation support. In the future, a developer can use BSN to run a node like people use cloud services, and developers can just search the name of the blockchain and hold their private keys in order to build dapps or run a node, Cao said.