China’s biggest city Shanghai officially intends to boost the development of innovations such as blockchain, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), metaverse and Web3 in general during its next five-year plan.
On July 13, Shanghai’s Municipal Government published the draft of its “14th Five-Year Plan for the Development of Shanghai’s Digital Economy”. A document sets the mission of “promoting the deep integration of digital technology and the real economy,” with “scientists judging technology prospects” and “entrepreneurs discovering market demand”.
The plan suggests supporting the enterprises that plan to construct the NFT trading platforms and “research and promote the digitization of NFT and other assets.” A separate section is dedicated to blockchain, with a voiced commitment to promote the development and application of “blockchain+” technology and build a blockchain development ecosystem with strong innovation capabilities and independent control.
There is also a place for metaverse ambitions, as the municipal government plans to accelerate the research and deployment of the platform for the interaction between the virtual world and the real society by carrying out the development of core technologies and encouraging the creation of new platforms with richer and more diverse content scenarios. The plan emphasizes the significance of new forms of digital entertainment consumption, such as virtual concerts, virtual idols, and virtual sports.
A planned exploration of Web3 opportunities would include researching a multi-platform OpenID, distributed data storage, decentralized domain name resolution system (DNS), and end-to-end encrypted communication technology, complemented by the update of hardware base and deployment of 6G, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), sixth-generation wireless network technology (Wi-Fi6) and quantum communication.
While the plan keeps silent on the prospects of decentralized finance (DeFi), it mentions “digital finance” with a promise to promote smart contracts and improve asset trading, payment and settlement, registration and custody. However, the section puts an emphasis on exploring the pilot of the digital yuan, a central bank digital currency (CBDC), cherished by the Bank of China.
Other, non-crypto-related directions of a five-year plan touch on the issues of smart cities, low-carbon energy, digital health, intelligent service robots and others.
In his article from June 26, Yifan He, the CEO of Red Date Technology — a major tech firm involved in the development of China’s major blockchain project called the Blockchain Service Network (BSN) — has called private cryptocurrencies the “biggest Ponzi scheme in human history.”