Anecdotal feedback suggested the invitees responded positively to the speeches.
So then came the conference, a more glamorous event (by usual crypto conference standards) designed mainly to announce China’s intent to become involved in blockchain technology development. The event took place on 30-31st October, also in Changsha.
Notably, the Malaysia native’s presentation style is what Chinese call “nong min” — “in farmers’ terms,” or in a casual manner easy for the layperson to understand.
Now the conference is over, MIIT and Lee’s World Blockchain Foundation (WBF) must start the serious work of facilitating actual Chinese leadership in the blockchain industry.
WBF will perform education and training and blockchain technology R&D. It also plans to establish some industrial standards for blockchain and will perform consultative services for both corporate and government clients.
Tencent, maker of various online services including China’s popular WeChat platform, announced it is developing a “cloud blockchain” platform. It is particularly interested in applying smart contract technology.
China realizes now that blockchain technology is a wide and beneficial field, said Lee. It’s not a clever investment product designed to swindle investors out of their savings, as the government once feared. Instead, as some conference presenters mentioned, blockchain hardware and software applications could drive China’s economy into the future.
Lee’s Bitcoin World Tour in Vietnam
The representative told him MIIT planned to look more closely at blockchain technology, and had already set up a committee to begin research. All it needed was a catalyst to make a big noise and get everyone talking. So Lee formed the World Blockchain Foundation, a not-for-profit organization to promote blockchain technology, and planned a conference with high-profile guests on the invite list.
Any new policy direction in China, even those backed by senior government bureaucrats, first requires endorsement from the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).
Lee’s Bitcoin evangelism has made him a celebrity in China, with regular event appearances and media interviews. His traveling two-hour presentation, “Bitcoinomics,” across north and south-east Asia introduces newcomers to digital currency. Next, he’s taking the show to Brazil.
China observers have noticed a pivot in the national government’s approach to blockchain technology and even Bitcoin recently. But where did this come from? Asia’s Bitcoin ambassador Willson Lee has revealed some behind-the-scenes machinations could be driving change.
The first day saw Li Meng, Vice Chairman of the National Government, join proceedings. The second brought Li Wu Wei, Vice Chairman of the CPC’s National Political Bureau. Both joined in photoshoots with conference presenters and sponsors.
This is thanks to the the open minds at MIIT, and Lee’s promotional work.
His material comes from personal research and his “Bitcoin World Tour,” where he traveled to over 15 countries starting in 2014. Lee is also making a documentary about his experiences called “The Man From Bitcoin.”
For its first stage MIIT, via its research committees, published the Blockchain Technology and Application Development white paper on 18th October. That began to create some buzz, but it needed to grab attention from the Chinese political echelon.
WBF will also have various advisory boards — legal, technological, business and economic. And of course, it will continue to liaise with government departments and political officials wherever possible.
Looking at the guest list, the conference was the highest-level blockchain-related event in China to date. Several high-profile Party, administrative, plus banking and insurance company leaders attended.
To an extent, Lee personifies Bitcoin in the mainstream Asian media. Lee said he does it absolutely to promote Bitcoin and blockchain technology, but the local culture demands a well-known identity to promote them.
Lee spoke on both days of the conference, regularly referring to Bitcoin. While some presenters spoke about China’s technological leadership role, others called for permissive regulation to allow Bitcoin and blockchain to flourish there. A group of international guests expressed hope that China could nurture the technology and take a leadership role.
From initial skepticism and mistrust in 2013 to 2016’s tacit endorsements, China has come a long way towards discovering blockchain’s benefits. Not only that, but it’s not marginalizing Bitcoin — there’s definitely a place for financial technologies at the table.
Executives often hire Lee to present at corporate events, and he regularly packs out ballrooms and conference halls. At one such event in Changsha, Hunan Province, a member of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) was in the audience.
People fear what they don’t understand, Lee said. They need to understand Bitcoin easily before they’ll accept or even use it.
“The Asian mentality looks more towards an idol, or figure,” Lee said. “People want to follow the person, not the technology itself.”
Goldman Sachs: 'Real Dollars At Work' in Cryptocurrency Markets
Goldman Sachs has published a question-and-answer report focused on cryptocurrencies in which it suggests that clients should be keeping a closer eye on the market.
According to ZeroHedge, which fi
Bitcoin’s Present Bubble Might Actually be the Beginning of Mainstream Adoption
Bitcoin’s enthusiasts are torn between whether to celebrate Bitcoin’s arrival in the foothills of mass adoption, or to lament the upcoming burst that always happens with asset bubbles. There is
XinFin.org Completes It’s Africa Awareness Drive; Starts IoT Projects; Prepares ICO
XinFin.org recently completed Africa awareness program across three nations in Africa, has kicked off several IoT projects in Asia. The organization also plans to follow regulatory standards for it’s
Sony Taps Blockchain to Develop System for Data Sharing and Authentication In Education
Sony Corporation and Sony Global Education (SGE) have created a system to apply blockchain technology to education. The system centralizes managing data from multiple institutions, allowing them to re
Full Steam Ahead? Segwit2x Reaffirms Bitcoin Hard Fork Plan
The technical team behind the bitcoin scaling proposal Segwit2x is doubling down on its controversial plan to introduce code that would seek to hard fork the network in three months time.
The Emergence of Digital Reality
Blockchain technology continues to disrupt many major industries worldwide. By changing the way people interact and do business, Blockchain is leading us to a new “digital reality.” Social media
Price Analysis, August 9: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic
SegWit has locked-in today. Now the network has to update its software to make sure all the SegWit transactions are stable. And there’s almost a month before SegWit. Bitcoin price is indicating
Bitstamp Will Add Ether Trading to Cryptocurrency Exchange
European cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp will launch new trading pairs for ether next week.
Beginning on August 17, Bitstamp will add markets denominated in US dollars, euros and bitcoin for the e