China has been quietly developing its own blockchain platform, known as the Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN).
The world found out about this endeavor in 2019, when Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech that his country needs to “seize the opportunities” presented by blockchain technology, and that it was an “important breakthrough in independent innovation of core technologies.”
Since then, the development of a native blockchain platform, complete with the digital infrastructure necessary to sustain it, was elevated to a national priority for the communist nation.
“We think blockchain technology is so powerful it will change the entire internet and almost all the entire IT system architecture,” said Yifan He, CEO of Red Date Technology, one of the founding members of the BSN.
BSN’s product is aimed at companies that operate cloud computing infrastructure, similar to the large public clouds owned by Amazon or Microsoft.
But BSN can also be used to operate smaller clouds run by smaller companies. BSN is billing itself as a “one-stop shop” for deploying block-chain based apps in clouds. Without using BSN, the process to launch such apps in China could be very costly and time-consuming for corporations.
Furthermore, BSN is also selling its ability to be interoperable. If different companies had applications built on different blockchain platforms, they may not be able to work with each other. But if both apps were built on BSN’s infrastructure, they would be interoperable and could also be bridged to other blockchain-based apps with less effort and investment.
Red Date Technology, a start-up headquartered in Hong Kong, is one of the founding companies behind BSN. But the project is also being heavily backed by entities with close ties to the communist government in Beijing, including the State Information Center, a think tank controlled by the National Development and Reform Commission, an economic management arm of the state.
In contrast to other digital ledger technologies that seek to decentralize finance and circumvent the control of the state, China’s BSN was built to work under the watchful eyes of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) extensive surveillance apparatus.
“Observers have expressed concern that the BSN will develop in the context of the Chinese government’s comprehensive surveillance and censorship apparatus and its regulations granting security services broad access to data,” wrote cyber security and policy expert Mikk Raud of Stanford University. “Indeed, the BSN is designed in such a way that Red Date Technology can censor or entirely delete blockchains that violate regulations.”
China’s BSN also removes all anonymity that other blockchain-based platforms like cryptocurrencies are known for. According to Raud, BSN uses a so-called “Open Permissioned” service. This obligates users to pass application processes that require them to divulge their identities so that the BSN’s operators know who is using the blockchain at any given time. (Related: Globalists could usher in Great Reset using state-owned BLOCKCHAIN infrastructure.)
Yaya Fanusie, a fellow for the public policy think tank the Center for a New American Security and an expert on the national security implications of blockchain technology, noted that the BSN represents a broader threat to the global internet.
Fanusie pointed out that Beijing wants to use BSN as leverage by building global infrastructure with data centers in every corner of the globe that would allow every country on the planet to access the blockchain platform. This would allow corporations to sign up to the BSN while China still retains absolute control over the network.
If blockchain developers in democratic countries help build the BSN, Fanusie warned that they are basically accomplices to the CCP’s goal of constructing a new internet ecosystem.
Luke Hogg, writing for the National Interest, noted that BSN is not a one-off project. “The CCP plans to continue investing heavily in digital ledger technology with an eye towards global dominance,” he said.
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