The Chinese government has released some of its first research findings on blockchain technology.

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has published a new white paper that explores various applications of the technology. Its release this week coincided with a forum on blockchain hosted by the Chinese government aimed at encouraging cooperation among industry stakeholders and members of the country’s business community, according to a speech by Ministry Secretary Xie Shaofeng.

The white paper provides a broad overview of the technology and its development both within and beyond China. Specific items include how bitcoin transactions work, for example.

Further, the white paper outlines areas in which standards around blockchain can be formulated to help encourage adoption among mainstream firms, particularly in the finance space. It strikes a progressive tone, suggesting that China faces a major opportunity should the technology mature and become integrated within its business industries.

The Ministry of Industry and IT said in the white paper’s preface (roughly translated):

“[We] hope that all sectors work together to actively grasp the blockchain development trends and regulations…to create a favorable environment for development [and] accelerate the promotion of China’s blockchain technology and industrial development.”

A range of industry participants including Ping An Insurance and auto giant Wanxiang – two major firms in China that have been working with the technology – are said to have helped shape the research.

The publication is perhaps a reflection of the technology’s role in China.

Long a hub for bitcoin exchange and miners – the majority of the world’s bitcoin miners are based in the country – a growing number of firms focused on blockchain applications have also emerged. The past year has seen increasing interest among local and state officials as well.

China has also seen the formation of new working groups involving both startups and existing companies like the developer of the popular QQ messaging app.

Image via MIIT

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