China’s IT Ministry Calls for ‘Acceleration’ of Blockchain Standardization

A document published Nov. 12 on the official website of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) calls on the country to “accelerate” the development of standards for the blockchain industry.

The text has been authored by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)’s Zhou Ping, who is also secretary general of the China Blockchain Technology and Industry Development Forum and director of the Software Engineering and Evaluation Center at China’s Electronics Technology Standardization Research Institute.

The document argues that the development of a reference blockchain architecture standard is of crucial importance for guiding the selection and application of blockchain systems across diverse domestic industries.

It outlines that domestic blockchain standardization work began as early as 2016, with the publication of the Development Forum’s white paper, which stipulated five categories for blockchain standardization: foundation, processes and method, interoperability, business and applications, and information security.

After the Forum completed its basic standard reference architecture, as of May 2018, it reportedly completed ten international blockchain standards such as terminology and concepts, reference architecture, classification and ontology, which have now entered development stage.

While blockchain standardization work continues to “deepen,” the text highlights that several hurdles still impede its completion, slowing industrial-scale development. These reportedly include “misunderstandings,” or an “immature and imbalanced” view of the technology’s application across various industries and scenarios, and insufficient cultivation of blockchain talent, which it notes is especially needed to train standardization practitioners.

The author calls on the country to expedite standardization, as the technology’s potential applications continue to extend beyond the bounds of finance to supply chain management, social welfare, the culture and entertainment industries, and other fields.

The author further recommends that China “seize the opportunity to play a key role in the international development of blockchain standards,” while drawing upon and reformulating these international standards for China’s situation.

As previously reported, China has been ratcheting up its efforts to complete a blockchain standardization system “as soon as possible,” creating a dedicated government committee for the express purpose, and most recently announcing standards should be issued by the end of 2019.

Chinese Blockchain-Related Company Xunlei Reports $45.3 Million Q3 Revenue

Chinese desktop software and blockchain-related company Xunlei has published its Q3 report Wednesday, Nov. 14. According to the report, the firm’s revenue increased in 2018 after the introduction of blockchain services.

The report notes that the company’s Q3 revenue reached $45.3 million, representing an increase of 1.1% year-over-year. The firm attributed $19.8 million of that revenue to its cloud and Internet value-added services sectors, which is an increase of 8.3 percent over the same period last year.

Lei Chen, CEO of Xunlei group, stated that blockchain remains one of the key investment areas for the company, noting:

“We believe that blockchain is a technology that can change our lives, and we will strive to make it available in different areas in a simpler and more cost-effective way.”

The company specifically mentioned its blockchain platform ThunderСhain, which has been launched this year, and lists recent blockchain-related partnerships, including a deal with the largest media group in China, People’s Daily, which is also the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China.

Xunlei, known for its P2P software and BitTorrent client and especially popular in China, re-oriented towards blockchain technology development in October 2017.

Back then, following a sustained downturn over two years, the company announced its first blockchain-driven initiative: the Link Token, which could be used to pay for some of Xunlei’s services. Shortly after, Xunlei became the best performing stock on Nasdaq, seeing up to 75 percent increase in shares, according to Bloomberg.

Later, in November, Xunlei came under scrutiny from China’s financial regulator following a state ban on Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). Consequently, its shares fell 40 percent. Despite the loss, Xunlei launched two new blockchain products in the spring, StellarCloud and ThunderChain Open Platform. Several months after the launch, the company’s CEO Lei Chen claimed that in Q2 Xunlei saw a $65.8 million in revenue, meaning a growth of over 70 percent on a year-over-year basis.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, in 2018 Xunlei also partnered with People’s Daily to construct a laboratory for “technology innovation” at the People Capital’s Blockchain Research Institute. Moreover, the two will develop a blockchain-driven platform to organize competitions, seminars, workshops, and promote and identify startups in the blockchain industry.

Several crypto-related companies have recently published their Q3 2018 reports: Japanese IT giant GMO Internet revealed a “historical performance” of its crypto-related sector, and Canadian Bitcoin (BTC) mining company Hut 8 declared a record revenue of $13.5 million, an increase by 126 percent compared to the previous quarter’s revenue of $5.9 million.

Moreover, Q3 2018 marks biggest quarter yet for Bitcoin revenue of Square — a U.S. financial services company that introduced Bitcoin support in its Square Cash payment app earlier this year.

Canadian Court to Take Custody of Quadrigacx Funds, NYDIG Gets Bitlicense

Canadian Court to Take Custody of Quadrigacx Funds, NYDIG Gets Bitlicense

Regulation

In recent regulatory news, a Canadian court plans to take custody of $19.5 million of funds that Quadrigacx deposited with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce before they were frozen due to competing ownership claims. Also, New York state regulators have granted the 14th Bitlicense to New York Digital Investment Group, and it has been alleged that the authorities in China have threatened to cut off electricity to miners in Yunnan Province for failing to pass compliance checks.

Also Read: Isle of Man Updates Registration Rules for Cryptocurrency Businesses

Provincial Court Takes Custody of Quadrigacx Funds

Canadian Court to Take Custody of Quadrigacx Funds, NYDIG Gets 14th BitlicenseThe Ontario Superior Court of Justice has moved to take custody of funds owned by Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Quadrigacx that were frozen by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). The frozen funds include $69,000, as well as 25.7 million Canadian dollars ($19.43 million). The bank froze the money due to what it saw as competing claims to the funds.

“CIBC has met the onus of establishing that there is a real foundation for the expectation of competing claims with respect to the disputed funds,” said Judge Glenn Hainey, who is presiding over the case. He ordered CIBC to pay the disputed funds to the Accountant of the Superior Court to await the outcome of the proceeding.

New York State Grants 14th Bitlicense to NYDIG

The New York State Department of Financial Services has announced that NYDIG Execution, a subsidiary of New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG), has become the 14th company to be granted a Bitlicense.

Robert Gutmann, the chief executive officer of NYDIG, stated: “NYDIG is pleased to receive these regulatory approvals and we look forward to providing secure and transparent liquidity, custodial and asset management services to the institutional market.”

China May Cut Power to Miners in Yunnan Province

Canadian Court to Take Custody of Quadrigacx Funds, NYDIG Gets 14th BitlicenseRed Li, the co-founder of 8btc, recently posted a tweet suggesting that the Chinese authorities are ramping up compliance checks and tax inspections for mining farms. Li’s tweet stated that “mining facilities in Yunnan Province are facing another round of compliance check[s].” Li added that failure to adhere to the inspections would result in miners’ electricity being “cut off from the grid.”

The news follows the recent publication of a statement by an anonymous mining company claiming that its mines in China’s Guizhou Province and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have been temporarily suspended for tax inspections and to implement real-name registration processes.

How do you expect the dispute over Quadrigacx’s frozen funds to be resolved? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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