Blockchain's future growth in China will rely on well-designed regulatory and standardization frameworks in the country, according to industry experts.
At the 2018 Bo'Ao Forum for Asia in China's Hainan province on Tuesday, speakers including Chen Lei, CEO of cloud network provider Xunlei, and Li Lihui, who heads the Blockchain Research Working Group at China's National Internet Finance Association (NIFA), discussed the latest blockchain developments in China, as well as the tech's future prospects.
While 2017 saw a number of blockchain projects from technology companies in the nation, the experts on the panel argued that, further down the road, a well-thought-out regulatory framework will likely become the key driver for the technology's future growth.
To that effort, Li, who is also a former head of the Bank of China, one of the four state-owned commercial banks in the country, said developing a regulatory framework for blockchain use will be one of NIFA's top priorities in 2018.
Launched in 2015 by the People's bank of China and approved by the State Council, NIFA is a self-regulatory body that aims to ensure the healthy development of financial technology in the country.
Aside from taking a research focus on blockchain development, NIFA has also been scrutinizing the cryptocurrency industry and issued warnings on the risks associated with initial coin offerings.
Li said on the panel:
"While blockchain's technological development has seen a major progress in China over last year with blockchain platforms launched by internet giants such as Baidu and Tencent, our regulatory initiative is substantially lagging behind."
According to Li, his organization is eyeing a standardization framework for blockchain use and the establishment of a third-party entity as an authority to certify innovations around the tech.
"This needs our immediate attention," he stated, further arguing that this direction will also facilitate fostering and recruiting talent that specializes in blockchain.
On the same subject, Xunlei's Chen Lei said: "Technological skill is never a hindrance as the market demand will keep driving our imagination."
Xunlei notably stepped into the blockchain space earlier this year, allowing users to earn tokens through sharing their internet bandwidth.
"What we need for the future, are clear regulatory guidelines for the entire industry to follow."
Image courtesy of Bo'Ao event organizer