Chinese authorities plan to create 1000 smart cities, where technologies and data collected should improve the lives of every resident, Deloitte reports. In January 2013, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development formally announced the first list of national pilot Smart Cities, referring to this technology as a “sector that should be strengthened and encouraged.”
The first city of the future is supposed to be Yinchuan, where they have already abandoned traditional payments. Now, instead of tickets, passes and documents, it is enough to simply show one’s face! And no more tiresome shopping — products are ordered through a mobile application.
Despite the negative attitude of the authorities toward cryptocurrency, they still believe in the technology. The country’s digitalization strategy, identified in the 13th Five-Year Plan for National Informatization in December 2016, states:
In April 2017, the Wuzhen Think Tank released a white paper on the development of China’s blockchain industry. The paper introduced global and domestic blockchain-industry trends and provided valuable knowledge for research entities and related enterprises. A few months later, the National Committee of Experts on Internet Financial Security Technology published its Compliance Blockchain Guidelines.
Currently, Chinese authorities are actively studying blockchain in terms of more orderly data storage. On April 24, the National Audit Office of China discussed the use of the technology to solve problems inherent in centralized storage infrastructure.
Blockchain technology in the US is not just a tool for operating cryptocurrencies or managing databases. Local authorities recognized the potential of blockchain in the provision of public services and launched a number of projects currently in different stages of implementation.
The state of Delaware was the first to announce the Delaware Blockchain Initiative in 2016. This comprehensive program launched by then-governor Jack Markell is designed to stimulate the use and development of blockchain technologies and smart contracts in both the private and public sectors of the state. It’s worth noting that the authorities officially recognized electronic transactions recorded in blockchains as verifiable data, and the bill was signed in order to legalize blockchain transactions for accounting and other business records for local companies. The initiative was supposed to become a step in preventing future taxation-related problems and records manipulations. But recently, expectations of Delaware’s blockchain supporters appeared to have been dashed, as the current administration under the governor John Carney has shown more caution than its predecessor.
The new authorities are slow in the mass adoption of blockchain, being more focused on traditional models of economics and business management. Yet Symbiont CEO Mark Smith, whose company Symbiont partnered with the ex-administration to move state archives into blockchain, is optimisticin relation to the future adoption of the technology:
Perhaps the current government of Illinois will work faster than its predecessors. In 2017, the state announced the Illinois Blockchain Initiative, which calls on the consortium of state agencies to cooperate in exploring innovations presented in distributed ledger technology. The authorities of the state also intend to promote the use of blockchain “to transform the delivery of public and private services, redefine the relationship between government and the citizen in terms of data sharing, transparency and trust, and make a leading contribution to the State’s digital transformation.”