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Chinese City Named as Digital Yuan Testbed Launches Blockchain ID

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

As China gears up for a major blockchain drive, and the expected launch of its digital yuan next year, the city of Shenzhen and one of the country’s biggest banks – China Construction Bank (CCB) – appear to be playing vital roles.

Source: iStock/uxizeng

Per news agency Xinhua and media outlet the Global Times, local authorities in Shenzhen have launched a blockchain-powered electronic ID platform compatible with 24 forms of identification and certification. Residents can access the platform via a mobile app, which operators say is “encrypted, traceable and tamper-proof.”

Xinhua states that the app is named iShenzhen, and is compatible with birth certificates, citizen ID cards, proof of address and criminal background records. They also say that its scope will be expanded as of January 2020.

As reported in November, as China is preparing to launch its domestic digital currency, a person in charge of its development said that the goal of this move by China is not gaining full control of information belonging to the general public, but to create a balance between privacy concerns and the need to gather information by the authorities. (Learn more: China’s New Panopticoin; The Holy Grail of Digital Identity Is Not Entirely Sovereign)

Meanwhile, CCB has launched a blockchain-powered factoring platform, reports Sina.

CCB believes the platform will help “boost efficiency and reduce risks” for companies that are involved in the factoring business.

Factoring refers to a type of debtor financing whereby companies discount and sell their receivable accounts, such as invoices, to third-party firms.

As previously reported, both Shenzhen and CCB are reportedly playing key roles in the central People’s Bank of China-led digital yuan project.

Shenzhen, the nearest major mainland city to Hong Kong, will reportedly be one of two testbed sites for digital yuan pilots. And CCB, estimated to be the world’s second-largest banking companies, is one of four state-owned commercial banks said to be working with the central bank on its pilot project.