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China to Use the Blockchain!

china to use the blockchain

China is advancing plans to use blockchain technology to verify the real identities of its 1.4 billion citizens. The announcement was made by the Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN), China’s national-level blockchain initiative.

This move is likely to raise concerns among privacy advocates as it could grant the government unprecedented power to monitor and track its citizens. However, BSN claims that by using decentralized identity (DID) technology, the system will protect user privacy. China will create digital identities for people using blockchain.

For Chinese social media users, real-name registration is mandatory. The six largest social media platforms in China, including WeChat, Sina Weibo, Douyin, Kuaishou, Bilibili, and Xiaohongshu, currently require content creators with 500,000 or 1 million followers to disclose their real names or the names of their financial supporters.

This policy was implemented in October 2023 and was reported to be designed to ‘enhance credibility and ensure public oversight.’ BSN claims the new system will safeguard user privacy. BSN asserts that the new RealDID system will be the world’s first national-level decentralized identity system with real names. The system will use DID technology to allow users to register and log in to websites anonymously.

In a press release, BSN stated, ‘Through the RealDID service, users will be able to register and log in to websites anonymously using their DID addresses and private keys. Thus, business data and transactions will be kept separate from personal information.’

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Concerns about data privacy persist

Despite BSN’s claims, some experts are concerned that the RealDID system could be used to track and monitor citizens’ online activities. They argue that the government could use the system to identify and suppress dissent.

The system’s development by the Ministry of Public Security, known for human rights violations, heightens data privacy concerns.

The future of the RealDID system is uncertain

It is unclear how the RealDID system will be implemented or utilized by the Chinese government. However, the announcement will undoubtedly raise concerns among privacy advocates worldwide. Time will tell whether the RealDID system will be a force for good or a tool for repression.

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