Chinese Regulatory Director Talks Blockchain Centralization at ‘Two Sessions’ Conference

March 8, 2018

Tandem annual conferences held this week in China saw top political advisors meet alongside the national legislature. The meetings provided a backdrop for comments by one of China’s regulatory directors on the evolution of blockchain technology.

  • Speaking a day after the opening of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Zhang Ye – director of the Information Commission at the China Securities Regulatory Commission – told state-run media that “further clarification” was needed regarding centralization of blockchain-based systems.

    Although Zhang discussed, in part, the merits of blockchain technology at this week’s conference, his statements to the Security Times Network convey a cautionary tone about over-embracing the decentralized properties that distinguish blockchains. The director stated that there needs to be “further study” into “how to build decentralized system based on a centralized structure.” 

    Highlighting software development and identity authentication as points of centralization still prevalent in blockchain technology, Zhang told reporters, “Admittedly, some [blockchain] application scenarios need to be decentralized, but whether all scenarios need to be decentralized requires careful consideration.”

    The CPPCC represents half of the “two sessions” meetings held annually in China. These parallel conferences are usually held within days or weeks of each other and are a carefully choreographed platform for the Chinese government to display its political process both to its citizens and to the world, while also shoring up the centralized power of the Communist Party of China.

    Juxtaposed to the CPPCC, the political power of which is limited to offering recommendations to decision-makers, the other “session” is that of the National People’s Congress (NPC), which holds significant legislative power and has a track record of championing party initiatives.

    The CPPCC is essentially China’s closest official organization to what we are used to in democratic societies, in that it allows the people at least some involvement in the affairs of their government.

    Translations by Google.

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