China launches blockchain-based identification system for smart cities

China has launched a blockchain-based identification system for smart cities, aimed at better connectivity and data sharing between these cities.

The system has been developed by three institutes in the city of Shijiazhuang and will assign a unique, global digital ID to nationwide smart cities, Global Times reported Monday, citing state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Zhang Chao, director of the Zhongguancun Industry & Information Research Institute of Two-dimensional Code Technology, one of the developers of the blockchain-based ID system, said that the system was self-developed by China and will be “independently distributed and managed by China, with a unified distribution rule, a resolution of distributed storage and tamper-resistant code.”

China started piloting smart city development in 2012 and started constructing them in 2016 to build at least 100 smart cities by 2020. According to Deloitte, China had about 500 smart city pilot projects, the highest in the world, as of last year.

The country has also been embracing blockchain technology at a rapid pace. Last month, China's president, Xi Jinping, publicly supported the technology, saying that the nation should take the leading position in its development. China is also almost "ready" to launch its national digital currency after five years of research and development.