区块链技术的创新和应用落地离不开行业生态的构建和完善。自2015年12月至2017年末，中国成立区块链相关的行业协会 / 联盟近20个，中国区块链应用研究中心，GBBC中国中心，中关村区块链联盟、中国电子学会区块链专委会、中国信通院可信区块链联盟等一大批区块链专业组织为行业机构和不同背景的人员提供了一个专业领域的交流及合作平台，对于中国区块链行业的长期、健康发展发挥极有益的作用。
在区块链技术的教育和培训方面，中国各地区相关高校也在积极开展，开设相关科目、课程，以多种形式的教育培训项目，为中国区块链行业创新发展输送人才。例如，清华大学iCenter、同济大学金融科技研究院、北邮在线区块链教育与研究中心等。其他各种区块链培训也在蓬勃发展，其中，由中国区块链应用研究中心联合 GBBC 组织的区块链应用培训目前已为中国区块链行业培训认证了近千名专业人才。
2017年9月4日，受到ICO的影响，中国人民银行等七部委于发布《关于防范代币发行融资风险的公告》，在叫停ICO的同时，也对各数字资产交易平台提出了停业整顿的要求 :“代币融资交易平台不得从事法定货币与代币、虚拟货币相互之间的兑换业务 , 不得买卖或作为中央对手方买卖代币或虚拟货币 , 不得为代币或虚拟货币提供定价、信息中介等服务。”
截至2017年上半年，中国 ICO 市场已初具规模，募资金额达到26亿元人民币。但与此同时，缺少政府监管的ICO活动催生了大量良莠不齐的ICO项目，存在发行方缺乏明晰的规范、投资者缺乏适当性管理、投资者非理性行为引发市场泡沫和不法之徒借机诈骗洗钱等隐患。2017年9月，中国人 民银行联合七部委发布《关于防范代币发行融资风险的公告》，定义 ICO 为非法活动，全面叫停 ICO。
互联网已经颠覆了世界，区块链却要颠覆互联网。可以说区块链已然成为一个最大的风口。对于区块链这一最新领域，成长在数字社会的80、90后有着超越其它时代人的认知能力，这一认知能力又转化为 “认知红利”。位于北京的互联网金融博物馆(the Museum of FinTech)每季度评比金融科技与区块链创新企业，超过 200 家公司的区块链创业者都是90后。一批90后区块链创业者甚至投资人正在广泛的参与全球竞争，迎接属于他们的时代到来。事实上，全球区块链创业和数字货币的交易总量的重要来源都是中国的创业者。
近年来，以比特币为代表的全球加密数字资产的规模不断扩大，据 CoinMarketCap. 网站统计的数据，截至2017年12月17日，全球数字资产总市值已经触及6000亿美元。而2016年12月31日，这个数字才仅有177亿美元。不到一年的时间里，规模扩大近3300%，财富聚集效应引起了各方密切关注。区块链和数字货币已经成为中国大众的主流关注点和日常用语，私人和机构的资产配置也在转向这一领域。传统机构和国企机构间接入场。
几年前，区块链技术还是极客世界中“自由”的代名词；如今，巨头已经纷纷宣布涉足这一领域。 中国平安，成为国内首家加入R3区块链联盟的机构，目前已在资产交易和征信两个场景中上线了区块链技术；万向集团成立了万向区块链实验室；中国银联与IBM合作，预研“使用区块链技术的跨行积分兑换系统”。百度与Circle达成战略合作；阿里系的蚂蚁金服将打造基于区块链技术的公益平台；腾讯加入可信区块链联盟，中食、中粮等传统国企与太一云合作推进中国食品链； 国家版权局与版权交易中心联盟联合发布了中国版权链，点融与富士康合作研发区块链供应链金融平台，其它众多上市公司、大型金融机构也纷纷推出区块链发展计划。与其它创业公司相比，国企、行业巨头拥有更雄厚的资金和研究团队，也有更丰富的、可供区块链技术落地的场景。
着力金融科技领域的投资机构，对区块链技术持续关注。资本市场的玩家，有场景、有资金，但他们更多是要将区块链技术进行改造，真正实现降低信任成本和交易成本。在去年的第一季度，全球区块链创业公司累计获得VC投资15.7亿美元，而在过去的三年时间中(2014 年-2016 年 )，全球区块链创业企业总计获得投资金额接近150亿美金。据数据公司CB Insights于近日发布的一份报告，谷歌和高盛是当前全球投资区块链公司最活跃的两家机构投资者。国内清华启迪、万向集团、复星集团等多家投资机构都已经发起了区块链创投基金。
国务院印发《“十三五”国家信息化规划》，区块链与大数据、人工智能、机器深度学习等新 技术，成为国家布局重点。中国人民银行印发了《中国金融业信息技术 “十三五” 发展规 划》，明确提出积极推进区块链、人工智能等新技术应用研究，去年 10 月，工信部发布《中国区块链技术和应用发展白皮书》，这是首个落地的区块链官方指导文件。央行正在进行的国家数字货币试点，区块链也是其实现的技术之一。
CHINA BLOCKCHAIN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2018
01 China's blockchain industry is growing rapidly
Accelerated blockchain technological innovation
Technological innovation is the core driving force for the further development of the blockchain industry, and that process in China is undergoing a remarkable accelera- tion. Taking the number of public patents in the blockchain sector in China and the United States between 2014 and 2017 as an example: The number of public pat- ents have both shown an upward trend, with the number in the United States increased from 150 in 2014 to 390 in the first seven months of 2017, and that in China grew from 2 in 2014 to 428 in the same period this year, and China has out- paced the United States towards the increase.
Booming blockchain financing
In general, global private equity investment in blockchain sector showed an upward trend in 2014-2017. Due to the rise of ICO, the global private equity investment in blockchain sector declined in 2017 compared with that of 2016, but the growth rate is remarkable compared with three years ago. Private equity financing in this area increased from US$212 million in 2014 to US$394 million in 2016, a growth rate of 85.84 percent. In the meantime, the amount of private-sector financing in China’ s blockchain sector increased from US$16 million to US$ 76 million, an increase of 3.75 times. Although the scale of private equity financing in China is smaller than that of the United States, its growth rate is obviously higher.
Blockchain’s wide range of application
Thanks to continuous innovation in blockchain technology and China's huge Internet consumer base, blockchain applications in China are also characterized by a wide range of diverse activities. In the period from 2014 to July 2017, private sector equity investment in blockchain sector have gone to eight areas including mining, wallet, virtual currency, infrastructure, underlying technologies, exchanges, related services and blockchain applications, both in the industry chain’ s upper level like mining and virtual currency, and middle level of wallet and exchanges, as well as underlying technologies, industry infrastructure and related services like technological consult- ing and professional media services. Based on the above, the blockchain industrial chain in China is shaped. Looking at the investment amount distribution, the block- chain applications, mining, and exchanges accounted for a higher proportion, with the three sectors taking up to 79 percent of the total capital.
Rival blockchain institutions set up
Blockchain innovation and technological application cannot be independent from the construction and improvement of industry ecology. Since December 2015 to the end of 2017, China has set up nearly 20 blockchain-related industry associations including China Blockchain Application Research Center, GBBC China Center, Zhongguancun Blockchain Alliance, China Institute of Electronics Blockchain Special Committee, and CAICT Trusted Blockchain Alliance. They provided a platform for exchange and cooperation for professionals from diverse industries and back- ground, and have contributed to the long-term and healthy development of China's blockchain industry.
In terms of education and training, Chinese colleges have explored seting up cours- es and training programs to cultivate the talents for the innovative development of blockchain industry, such as the iCenter of Tsinghua University, Institute of Fintech at Tongji University, online blockchain education and research center at Beijing Univer- sity of Post and Telecommunication. In addition, Various blockchain trainings are also booming. Among them, the blockchain application training jointly provided by China Blockchain Application Research Center and GBBC has trained nearly certified 1,000 professionals so far.
02 China's blockchain industry faces challenges
Clear illegal digital currency exchange
The Chinese government has always held a cautious attitude toward Bitcoin. Back to December 2013, the People's Bank of China and five ministries issued the Notice on Prevention of Bitcoin Risk, which clearly defined the nature of Bitcoin and tried to prevent risks of excessive speculation, exchange evasion, money laundering, and suspected viola- tions of securities rules. Therefore, none of the Bitcoin exchanges in China has been approved by the provincial Minis- try of Finance.
On September 4, 2017, due to the ICO impact, the People's Bank of China and other seven ministries issued "Notice on preventing financing risks of issued tokens", and proposed suspension of every digital asset trading platform: "Tokens financing and trading platform shall not engage in statutory currency and tokens, virtual currency exchange, buy or sell tokens and virtual currencies, nor serve as a central counterparty. No pricing and agency services for tokens or virtual currencies shall be provided. "
Eliminate illegal ICO activities
Until the first half of 2017, the value of Chinese ICO market has reached 2.6 billion yuan. Meanwhile, however, the lack of government regulatory brought ICO activities with various qualities. There were no clear norms for issuers, proper management of investors and irrational behavior might cause market bubbles and fraud. Thus, People’ s Bank of China jointly with seven other minis- tries halted the ICO activities completely in September 2017.
However, regulatory halt of ICO is not a denial of the blockchain application in startups financing, nor a negative reflection of blockchain, digital currencies and other Fintech. In the short term, innovative corporate finance in the ICO sector may result in a slowdown. However, in the long run, this regulatory tightening will promptly prevent funds from flowing into illicit fund-raising projects and pyramid schemes frauds and alert ordinary investors to avoid prudent investment, as well as prevent market overheating which usually generate financial risks.
Government regulation emphasizes safety and stability
The State Council has set up a Financial Stability Development Committee to strength- en macro prudential management and prevent systematic risk. On the one hand, Chi- na's regulators are anticipating risks and try to dispose them in a timely manner, halting the centralized trading of bitcoin and ICO tokens, reducing the risk of digital asset mar- kets and safeguarding the stability and security of national finance. On the other hand, regulators also made it clear that some of the current regulatory measures are not denying digital currency, not to deny the related technology, but to manage the financial chaos that it has triggered and to prevent possible financial risks. It does not represent a ban on all Bitcoin transactions through halting Bitcoin bidding in China. Transactions between individuals are allowed, and the blockchain technology it relies on is still encouraged. At the same time, the industry has also called up not to overcorrect. For normal academic research and rational discussions, sufficient space should be given. Moreover, it should actively respond to the closure of exchanges which may lead a large number of transactions into over-the-counter transactions and underground transactions.
03 The prospect of China's blockchain industryis positive and optimistic
Entrepreneurs actively participate with millennials admission
The Internet has subverted the world, but the blockchain is going to subvert the Internet. It is said that blockchain has been on the cusp. For a new area like blockchain, millennials has the advanced cognitive ability than other age groups, which can be transformed into "cognitive bonus". Beijing-based Internet banking Museum (the Museum of FinTech) awarded block- chain technology and innovation companies each quarter, and more than 200 of them has a founder born after 1990. These young entrepreneurs and investors are deeply engaging in the global competition and are ready to embrace their era. In fact, Chinese entrepreneurs make up a large amount of the blockchain startup founders. They are also key sources of digital currency trading worldwide.
Wealth effect has aroused attention
In recent years, the market cap of cryptocurrency, represented by Bitcoin, is booming around the world. According to CoinMakretCap, the global digital asset market cap hit US$600 billion on December 17, 2017, which was only US17.7 billion back to the last day of 2016. In less than a year, the scale has expanded by nearly 3300% and the effect of wealth accumulation has drawn close attention from all parties. Blockchain and other digital currencies have become a mainstream concern and even a daily expression for the Chinese public. Private and institutional asset allocations are also shifting to this area, as well as traditional institutions and state-owned enterprises participate indirectly.
In the geek world, Blockchain used to mean " freedom " in the last few years. Today, the giants have announced plans to set foot in this space. Ping An China became the first domestic institution to join the R3 Blockchain Alliance. Currently, blockchain technology has been launched in both the asset trading and credit reporting phases; Wanxiang Group has set up Wanxiang Blockchain Laboratory ; China UnionPay Collaborated with IBM to pre-research " Interdepartmental Redemption System Using Block- chain Technology "; Baidu and Circle reached a strategic cooperation; Ali's Ant Financial will create a commonweal platform based on blockchain technology; Tencent joined the Trust Blockchain Alliance; China Food, COFCO and other traditional state-owned enterprises tried to promote China's food chain with Pacific Cloud; The Copyright Bureau and the Copyright Exchange Center jointly released the China Copyright Chain; Point Financial and Foxconn R&D share a Block Supply Chain Finance Platform. Many other listed companies and large financial institutions also launched the blockchain development plan. Compared with other startups, state-owned enterprises and industry giants have more funds, more stuff and more diverse application scenarios for blockchain technology.
Fund investment has become common
Focused on financial institutions in the Fintech, the blockchain technology continues attract attention. Capital market players have application scenarios and funds, but they are more cling to blockchain technology transformation, a real reduction of credibility costs and trans- action costs. In the first quarter of last year, the global blockchain startups obtained a total VC investment of US$1.57 billion, while in the past three years (2014-2016), the global blockchain startups received a total investment of nearly US$15 billion. According to a recently released report by data company CB Insights, Google and Goldman Sachs are the two most active institutional investors in the current global investment in blockchain. Domes- tic Tsinghua inspiration, Wanxiang Group, Fosun Group and many other investment agencies have already launched their blockchain venture capital funds.
Early leading firms adhere to the bottom line, abide by the law
On August 16, 2017, China Blockchain Application Research Center held ICO symposiums and convened more than 10 heads of blockchain institutions in Beijing. They clearly expressed their opinions on regulatory intervention and market risk control. Huo Xuewen, party secretary of the Beijing Financial Bureau, delivered an important speech demanding that the governing bodies affiliated with the center and the relevant institutions in Beijing not to participate in the issuance and trading of any ICO and strictly practice self-discipline and compliance under relevant laws. The conference was widely recognized and disseminated by the industry.
On September 4, 2017, the People's Bank of China and other seven ministries issued "Notice on preventing financing risks of issued tokens". All board members of China Blockchain Applica- tion Research Center made their speeches to endorse the relevant decisions of regulatory authorities and issued self-declaration, and all board members conducted a joint affair. During the process of government clearance, they were highly coordinated and no major risk events occurred, highlighting their responsibilities as earily industry members.
The special provincial coastal areas are highly encouraged to develop blockchain
The State Council issued "13th Five-Year Plan" for National Information Strategy. Blockchain, together with big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and other new deep learning technology, has become national focus. Also, the People's Bank of China released the "13th Five-Year Plan" for China's Fintech, which clearly aimed to promote blockchain and AI. In the last October, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued "China Blockchain Tech- nology and Application Development White Paper", which is the first official guideline for block- chain landing. The ongoing national digital currency pilot by the central bank also means that blockchain is one of the technologies it has implemented.
Local governments, especially the coastal areas, have set up blockchain experimental and research institutes. At present, the governments of Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Gui- yang and Ganzhou are all actively setting up blockchain development zones which are given special support policies. These cities, with a population of more than 5 million each, vigorously promote the blockchain innovation and will create market heights to open up China's future.
At the moment, the world is focusing its attention on the Davos Blockchain Forum. We look forward to taking this opportunity to gather the power of all countries in the world to explore and create global blockchain development standards and policies, making a sound regulatory environment and establishing joint-venture cooperation to build con- sensus and rules. It is expected to actively guide China and other countries to establish a positive and effective regulatory environment for blockchain policies, speed up block- chain application in a broader context, and invite all sectors to keep their eye on and participate in the Chinese market.
In April 2018, we will hold a conference in Beijing for blockchain innovation companies worldwide, and we will invite leaders of the world's top blockchain companies to pro- mote and communicate with Chinese entrepreneurs to discuss blockchain applications on a global scale. China Blockchain Application Research Center would like to give you a formal invitation to the meeting. We would provide you with the best routes to enter the Chinese market and find the best partners for you. We also welcome industry supervisors from all over the world to come to Beijing at the same time to hold dialogues with Chinese industry regulators and discuss the framework rules to form a global regulatory framework so as to make efforts for establishing a safe, transparent and convenient blockchain startup environment.