China and the US are the superpowers of the 21st century and their respective blockchain innovations have both countries at the top of the technological leaderboard. As the two countries face off in a highly publicized trade war, many people are also looking to see which nation is winning the blockchain battle.
The blockchain jobs on offer
One way of comparing the industries is to examine the blockchain jobs on offer in each country. Right now, it looks like the US has got the upper hand. According to data compiled by The Next Web, nearly half of the related jobs on recruitment site Glassdoor globally were based in the US, followed by the Uk then India.
With the caveat that glassdoor is a US-based company despite hosting international job posts, China had just 42 positions advertised compared to the US’s 2,616.
Opposing government approaches
Where China may be superior, however, is its government’s commitment to promoting the development of the technology and President Xi Jinping’s open support for blockchain, calling it a ”breakthrough” technology. Following his positive comments, the state-controlled media station CCTV ran a one-hour special explaining that “the value of blockchain is 10 times that of the internet”.
The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, has spearheaded blockchain testing in finance, and there is a general consensus from the experts that when it comes to core technological developments alone, China is beating the US.
China’s rapid industrialization and development as a nation since the 1980s shows just how powerful the government’s commitments have been, as well as demonstrating the benefits of a having heterogenous authoritarian leadership no matter how controversial this concept may be.
The influence of crypto
Neither country has what would be described as pro-cryptocurrency policies, but the Chinese government has taken a much harder stance. Regulations prohibit financial firms holding or trading cryptocurrencies, and while trading platforms were effectively banned in 2018.
In the US many states are also pursuing regulatory efforts to cover cryptocurrency instruments but cryptocurrency trading remains legal, as does holding initial coin offerings unlike in China.
While cryptocurrency only accounts for a percentage of blockchain use cases, the inability of start-ups to explore tokens and digital currency without fear of government intervention sets China back in terms of what blockchain development teams can work with. In mid-April last year, police in Shanghai went so far as to stop an event for cryptocurrency entrepreneurs.
There is no clear frontrunner in the blockchain race as it stands, but many pundits are focused on China’s robust development policies and quality of innovations so far despite the US’s upper hand for cryptocurrency.
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