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Quorum to be added to China’s state-backed blockchain network

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Today ConsenSys announced it has partnered with China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) to add ConsenSys Quorum (formerly JP Morgan’s Quorum). Quorum, the enterprise version of Ethereum, will join the other enterprise blockchains offered on the Chinese version of the BSN network, which currently has more than 100 public city nodes in 80 cities. Quorum is expected to go live in 2021.

The BSN aims to enable low-cost adoption of blockchain technologies for SMEs and individuals and, going forward, to enable interoperability between separate private blockchains. Backed by the State Information Center of China (SIC), other founding members include UnionPay, China Mobile and Red Date Technology.

“GoQuorum will also be interoperable with other permissioned frameworks and open permissioned frameworks on BSN, building the blockchain cornerstone for the ‘new infrastructure’ in China,” said Yifan He, CEO of Red Date Technology and the executive director of BSN Development Association.

The initial BSN blockchains offered on the Chinese network are China’s FISCO BCOS and Hyperledger Fabric with others planned, including Baidu’s  Xuperchain.

The Chinese government does not endorse the use of cryptocurrencies and partly for that reason, there’s a separate international BSN network that also includes public blockchains. The Quorum announcement relates to the Chinese network.

“We believe that the different open source blockchain protocols need to interoperate, and with the BSN we are taking a significant step forward in bringing ConsenSys Quorum to many enterprises in China that could benefit from transparent collaborative business networks,” said Joseph Lubin, Founder of ConsenSys.

Ledger Insights asked whether there are plans to add Quorum to the international network. Joining the Chinese network is a first step. “The Digital Silk road comprises a series of geographies where we see strong potential,” said Charles d’Haussy, ConsenSys Director of Strategic Initiatives. 

Some countries prefer to stick to domestic cryptographic standards, and China is one of them. Hence all blockchain protocols deployed on BSN have to support domestic cryptographic standards, although some also support international ones. We’d assume the same goes for Quorum. In response to the question, d’Haussy said, “Permissioned blockchains are mostly deployed in an enterprise context where developers can customize dApps and add-ons aligned with local requirements when necessary.”

In other recent news, the BSN is planning a multinational central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot, anticipating a future where several countries launch digital currencies. It also partnered with a new Singapore trade network, and Digital Asset, which aims to enable blockchain interoperability amongst apps running on BSN’s different blockchain frameworks.