For decades, a wing of the geopolitical analytical thinkers in the West became more and more assured that the 21st century will be the Chinese Century. In the late 1980s, it seems like the world is steamrolling into the next American century. From defense and tech industries, to pop culture and language expansion, the US framework of the global world was prevalent in the same period. When the Berlin Wall fell, the same seemed inevitable.
However, on the other side of the globe, the Chinese Communist Party leadership ended its attempt on massive internal change with the Tiananmen Square massacre. After a decade of relative political and economic silence on a global scale, China came to the world stage once again in the past 20 years. The effect and force of that return to the spotlight are becoming evident with every new year, including the present, debilitating pandemic one.
Here too, China, where the COVID-19 coronavirus originated, seems to have taken on the epidemic with a huge level of success. In other unlikely places as well, its influence is only growing. The latest domain where this is happening in the arena of global blockchain networks and the way the country is slowly but surely expanding its reach in these as well.
China clearly plans to be the main blockchain infrastructure provider for companies and even countries across the world. The same efforts, in the eyes of many analysts, seem similar to the race to present itself as the go-to international provider of emerging technologies. These include, besides blockchain, things like artificial intelligence and even the 5G networks. However, the same effort has found active opposition including from major global geopolitical players.
The best example is the US and the government of President Donald Trump. It is now trying to block the export of the same technology not just in the US but across its sphere of influence. Huawei and its battle with the US government, especially their 5G tech, which is the far superior choice by most accounts is well documented in global media. Recently, the UK also decided to move out Huawei 5G tech from the country before the end of 2027, making a weird concession to both parties in this dispute. Still, China is adamant on pushing on with this tech expansion.
Along with the problems stemming from international diplomacy, China’s attempt to present its tech as the cutting-edge and affordable solution has not been all smooth sailing. Its global version of BSN or the Blockchain-Based Services Network integrates six big blockchains. These are NEO, IRISnet, EOS, Tezos, Nervos, and Ethereum. Any developer working on these open and public blockchains can run additional notes and individual applications on BSN. These can use bandwidth, data storage, and other resources that are offered by BSN.
All of them could at least in theory greatly benefit from the cheap services from BSN. Furthermore, these come with access to financial information from UnionPay, a Chinese company. Beyond BSN, foreign companies would have a lot of problems accessing and processing the same data. Now, the same is the first-ever state-backed blockchain network infrastructure that is spreading beyond China and trying to offer its solutions to developer communities. Reaching these demands more than just access to some Chinese market data. Instead, like the case of esports, for example, solutions that are widely popular for China need to be modified and adapted for different regions.
State Information Center of China
Despite the market woes of BSN, it is certain that China is more worried about political pressures and resistance to its technology. For the US and many others in the west, the reason for the resistance is more than evident. BSN is developed primarily by the Chinese agency called the State Information Center of China. This is a public institution that is working under the NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission) which represents the highest level of Chinese government economic planning. At the same time, this agency has also been the key player in the development of the national IT and information security policies in China.
It also led the way in the monitoring and processing of macroeconomic data used by policymakers. A degree in foreign relationships is not needed to see why any politicians in the west would have a field day with this lineage of management in BSN if they are even slightly inclined against the global Chinese influence. In fact, these connections between the highest corridors of power in Beijing and the tech entities that are trying to export IT solutions are precisely what many are deeply worried about in North America and Europe.
Aside from the political context and shady top management, there is no denying that the offer of BSN is more than appealing. It supports tailored infrastructure for blockchain developers, who can easily run nodes on the same system. Furthermore, the system allows for a range of business commitments, including free access. Developers can get free service on BSN as long as their nodes receive less than 2,000 daily connections.
This and other elements make it a great choice for making dapps and other similar blockchain solutions. The amount of BTC tokens, as well as other digital currency that is presently entering the dapp ecosystem, shows that their popularity is only beginning. Providing a great development environment for free will be an offer many developers simply cannot pass by. Ultimately, this is the reason why BSN will likely end up a major success, at least commercially.
The connection it has with the Chinese government – which is in this case a direct link – is not something that a five-person developmental team usually considers when choosing a tool. Viability and affordability rank way higher in most cases. Here, just like with Huawei, which managed to become the second-largest producer of mobile phones, the problem is that the core service is simply too good to be ignored. This is also in a nutshell the problem that anyone warning about Chinese influence is facing.