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Saudi Aramco backs startup behind China’s Blockchain-based Service Network

china blockchain network

Today Red Date Technology, the technical architect behind China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN), announced it has raised a $30 million Series A funding round. The investment was led by Prosperity 7 Ventures, an indirect subsidiary of Saudi Aramco. Other investors include Hong Kong’s Kenetic, clients of Switzerland’s Bank Pictet, Bangkok Bank and existing shareholder Blueprint Forest, a Chino-Thai multi-family office.

The BSN was initiated by the Chinese government’s State Information Center (SIC) along with Red Date, China Mobile and China UnionPay. Launched in April 2020, it aims to provide low-cost blockchain access making it accessible to the masses and offering numerous different blockchain technologies. This avoids companies needing to deploy their own nodes.

“The Internet’s Golden Age was only made possible when the cost of building websites was reduced to near zero,” said Yifan He, CEO of Red Date Technology. “The BSN makes the cost of creating and running applications exceptionally low.”

BSN has a Chinese network that only supports permissioned enterprise blockchains and an international network that also supports public blockchains and has cross border business firmly in its sights.

A governing body for BSN International is in the process of being created as a Singapore foundation, which will be steered by a consortium of multinational companies and financial institutions, “to ensure the global network is operated according to international standards,” said Red Date. For transparency, it plans to open source code in stages. For the Chinese network, the governance is managed by the BSN Development Association of China.

“The BSN is the foundation of global blockchain adoption and will succeed through an alliance of public and private partnerships and technologies, supported by a world-class engineering team and unprecedented enterprise and sovereign backing,” said Jehan Chu, Founder and Managing Partner of Kenetic.

Indeed, several companies have signed up to collaborate with Red Date and BSN, including Digital AssetEY and R3. R3’s enterprise blockchain Corda had not previously targeted the Chinese market.

There’s a reason why financial institutions will be represented in the governance. Back in January, the BSN outlined an ambitious plan to develop a universal digital payment network (UDPN) within five years. UDPN will enable any business or consumer blockchain application that needs to make a payment to call the UDPN via a payments API. It has its sights set on supporting multiple future central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and plans a multinational pilot this year.

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