Xiongan New Area, a development hub under direct oversight of Communist Party of China and its President Xi Jinping, has announced partnership with ethereum development studio Consensys. According to a report by South China Morning Post, both parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under which Consensys has pledged to advise the Xiongan officials on how to best utilize blockchain technology. The company will also provide software solutions to the administration of the city.
Joseph Lubin, a founder of Consensys, who has also co-founded ethereum alongside Vitalik Buterin claimed that, “As one of our first major projects in the People’s Republic of China, we are excited to help define the many ‘use cases’ that could benefit from the trust infrastructure enabled by ethereum technology.“
Xiongan is a project that seems to be especially close to heart of Chinese president Xi Jinping, who even called it a “personal project” back in 2014. Many of the cutting edge innovations in urban planning, green living and hi-tech will be implemented in the futuristic city, which is expected to be fully developed by 2035.
According to official sources, many of the “non-capital” functions of Beijing will be relocated to Xiongan, including hospitals, business institutions, colleges and other financial and public institutions. The megacity project will span three Chinese counties and compete with economic zones, created by Xi’s predecessors. 6.7 million people are estimated to move to Xiongan over the next decade with the city aiming to lure a staggering 2.4 trillion yuan ($348 billion) of investment.
The new partnership is also significant due to the fact that it is a first Chinese government agreement with a non-domestic blockchain company. Even though the Chinese officials have banned digital currencies in the country, they seem to value their underlying blockchain technology and plan to benefit from its widespread use.
The Xiongan local government has already announced it will be working with distributed ledger developers from China, including such prominent companies as Tencent, Ant Financial and Qihoo 360. Blockchain technology was even included in the current Chinese five-year plan that details country’s development up until 2020.
This is not the first time that Consensys works with government officials to introduce them to blockchain technology use cases. The Saudi Arabian government partnered Consensys back in May to organize a “blockchain bootcamp” back in May. Last year, the company was named as an official blockchain advisor of Dubai and signed a MoU with Smart Dubai – a project that aims to put all government documents and transactions on a blockchain by 2020.
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