The Chinese government has launched a new public blockchain infrastructure platform led by Conflux Network.

The new platform, dubbed “Ultra-Large Scale Blockchain Infrastructure Platform for the Belt and Road Initiative,” aims to offer an underlying public blockchain for cross-border applications, according to an April 1 X post by Conflux Network:

“The main focus of the project is to create a public blockchain infrastructure platform. This platform will be able to support the implementation of cross-border cooperation projects along the Belt and Road Initiative. It will provide the base for developing applications that showcase collaboration across borders.”

Conflux Network is a multichain blockchain ecosystem operated by the Conflux Foundation, also known as the Shanghai Tree-Graph Blockchain Research Institute.

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Crypto is thriving in China, despite the trading ban

The governmental blockchain initiative comes despite mainland China’s hostile attitude toward cryptocurrencies. China had started tightening its grip on the crypto industry since at least 2017 when the government ordered Chinese Bitcoin exchanges to shut down.

Despite the ban on crypto trading, 33.3% of Chinese investors hold a large amount of stablecoins, placing them in second place to Vietnam, with 58.6%, according to a December 2023 report by Vietnamese venture capital firm Kyros Ventures.

Traders in mainland China have found ways to circumvent the ban on trading. The majority of investors in the country choose to trade on centralized crypto exchanges, according to the report by Kyros Ventures.

Beijing banned crypto trading and mining in 2021 and prohibited offshore exchanges from offering their services in the country. Before the crypto crackdown intensified in 2021, China controlled two-thirds of the total Bitcoin mining hashing power.

Amid calls for greater industry scrutiny, China is set to make a major amendment to its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations to include cryptocurrency-related transactions.

As the first major revision to China’s AML regulations since 2007, the amendment aims to impose stricter guidelines to curb crypto-related money laundering.

So-called “virtual currency trading platforms” reportedly helped facilitate a $2.2 billion underground banking operation to bypass the country’s forex restrictions, according to a Dec. 24, 2023 report.

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