DEC 22, 2023
China to outline clear directions for NFT & Web3 development
Earlier this week, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology announced a decision to work towards releasing a comprehensive strategy document aimed at clarifying the future path for the development of NFTs and Web3.
Furthering Web3 innovation
In a communication published online on Tuesday, the ministry outlined its plan to enhance collaboration between relevant departments, emphasizing the promotion of Web3 innovation, increased research deployment and the strengthening of talent within the industry. Despite the regulatory challenges in the crypto space, the ministry acknowledged the growing interest in NFTs among Chinese citizens.
The strategy document, developed in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the China Association for Science and Technology, will address key issues such as inheritance, innovation, security and government responsibilities.
Ban not suppressing interest
Despite the country’s ban on cryptocurrencies, the ministry expressed a commitment to the development of the Web3 industry, particularly focusing on non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Earlier this year, a Wall Street Journal investigation found that leading global crypto exchange Binance was thriving in China.
One gray area that Chinese citizens are exploiting relative to the ban is that of NFTs. Crypto trading and mining were banned a couple of years ago. However, NFTs remain legal with the result that there has been a surge in adoption of digital collectibles in China. That prompted China’s top procuratorial agency, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate of China, to issue a warning relative to a number of attributes and risks relative to NFTs in May.
Several Web3 initiatives have already been underway in China. The Ministry of Science and Technology, in conjunction with the Cyberspace Administration of China, has released important policy documents, including the “Guiding Opinions on Accelerating the Application of Blockchain Technology and Industrial Development” and the “Blockchain Information Service Management Regulations.”
Additionally, collaborative efforts involving the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee, the Supreme People’s Court and other departments have conducted blockchain pilot actions, specifically in areas such as energy, rule of law, copyright and trade finance.
The metaverse is another Web3 segment that the Chinese seem to be targeting for growth. A report by POLITICO published last August found that Chinese authorities and state-owned companies appeared to be seeking to mold and develop the metaverse in line with Chinese values. Efforts are being made to effect further development in the regions also, with the city of Zhengzhou announcing in May a set of metaverse-related policy proposals.
Looking ahead, China’s Web3 strategy aims to concentrate on key sectors such as government affairs and industry. The plan seeks to encourage the development of novel business models, including NFTs and decentralized applications (dApps), while also accelerating the innovative application of Web3 and the construction of a digital ecosystem.
The ministry’s recent response to Wu Jiezhuang, a member of the CPPCC National Committee, the country’s political advisory body, indicated that the delay in releasing the strategy document is part of a meticulous approach to ensure the strategic framework aligns with the evolving nature of the industry.
While the postponement may be met with some disappointment, the overall tone remains optimistic, pointing towards the likelihood that China is committed to fostering innovation within the Web3 sector.