Massive 96-core chips now power the Chinese state-backed Chang’an Chain enterprise blockchain. Beijing Academy of Blockchain and Edge Computing (BABEC) founded the initial consortium initially backed by 27 organizations, including State Grid, China Construction Bank, and the central bank’s Digital Currency Research Institute.
Other founding members include China Unicom, COFCO and WeChat owner Tencent. Last week it announced the group has expanded from 27 to 50, including the addition of China Telecom, COSCO, and the Bank of China, reports Ifeng.
China boasts that this is the country’s first fully homegrown blockchain technology which is also open source. It aims to be open not just to businesses but also to independent developers and is massively scalable, with further details on that below. So far, numerous large state-owned enterprises are involved.
Applications start to roll out
At the latest event, four industrial applications were unveiled. State-owned agribusiness COFCO unveiled a food traceability solution that is aimed to help the construction of a national food safety system. COFCO is also a member of the international agribusiness consortium Covantis.
State-owned power company China Huadian shared a solution that uses blockchain to help with procuring materials to support its annual purchase of RMB 80 billion ($12.5 billion) from 100,000 suppliers. It believes the additional traceability enabled will encourage higher quality from its suppliers.
A third application was unveiled by state-owned conglomerate China General Technology to enable health records to be shared between hospitals, addressing the friction when a patient visits multiple clinics. And the final solution shared was from China Unicom for a “5G Information and Communication Chain”, which aims to support “internet of everything”, mobile roaming and other applications.
The Chang’an Chain Chainmaker blockchain network claims to be capable of processing 100,000 transactions per second by executing transactions in parallel, supported by the new chip. It uses quantum-proof cryptography and says that the encryption performance is 20 times faster than normal software encryption by using the chip.
It includes a blockchain acceleration chip which we believe functions as a secure enclave. This provides enhanced security by internally generating private keys and only making public keys available. Doing so means that data within the chip is available to be processed but not visible to others.
In March, consortium founder BABEC announced a deal with the central bank’s Digital Currency Research Institute to integrate the blockchain with the digital yuan.
Meanwhile, this isn’t the first blockchain platform that China has developed, although some of the others were derivative. Local solutions include the open source FISCO BCOS blockchain (backed by Huawei, Tencent, and JD), the open source Ethereum compatible XuperChain from Baidu, and Ant Group’s proprietary AntChain. While it’s not a blockchain itself, China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) is a massive blockchain network that supports numerous different blockchain technologies.
However, outside of some interesting technology, what sets the Chang’an Chain Alliance apart is the heavy backing from many of the largest state-owned enterprises.