China’s ‘Dream City’ Taps Ethereum Dev. Studio ConsenSys for Blockchain Push

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Government officials in Xiongan New Area have announced a partnership with Ethereum development studio ConsenSys to develop blockchain initiatives for China’s “dream city.”

According to the South China Morning Post, the Xiongan government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the U.S.-based ConsenSys to “establish Xiongan as a next-generation smart city and a leading blockchain innovation hub.”

Formally announced in 2017, Xiongan is a pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, and the central government has said that it will eventually move a number of “non-core” government agency and research facility headquarters to the region from Beijing.

The partnership with ConsenSys — whose founder, Joseph Lubin, also co-founded Ethereum — marks the first time that Xiongan has publicly enlisted the efforts of a foreign development studio to contribute to its blockchain efforts. However, this technological field is central to the city’s agenda.

In fact, the government has listed blockchain as one of several cutting-edge technologies that it believes can turn Xiongan into a leading tech center, and it has enlisted the efforts of a number of domestic firms including Tencent and Ant Financial to develop blockchain initiatives for both public and private services in the city.

“As one of our first major projects in the People’s Republic of China, we are excited to help define the many ‘use cases’ that could benefit from the trust infrastructure enabled by ethereum technology,” Lubin was cited as saying in a statement.

It’s not the first time ConsenSys has consulted on a government-backed blockchain project.

Last year, ConsenSys was named official blockchain city advisor to the city of Dubai, whose “Smart Dubai” project aims to see the emirate move all of its documents and transactions to a blockchain platform by 2020.

ConsenSys also recently partnered with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) to host a three-day blockchain bootcamp in the Middle-Eastern country.

Finally, the firm partnered with South Africa’s central bank to assist the bank in developing a proof-of-concept (PoC) project for processing wholesale payments using Quorum, an Ethereum-based enterprise blockchain launched by multinational investment bank JPMorgan.

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Josiah is an assistant editor at CCN. A former ancient and medieval literature teacher, he has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2014. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and children. He holds investment positions in bitcoin and other large-cap cryptocurrencies. Follow him on Twitter @Y3llowb1ackbird or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.