Biz / Tech

Blockchain spending surges in China and Asia

Blockchain techs are used in finance and supply chain industries 

Blockchain spending in Asia Pacific excluding Japan will jump 91 percent in the five years until 2021, thanks to applications in finance and supply chain industries, said IDC in a report today.

Blockchain, which distributes a database network that maintains a continuously growing list of “blocks” with data records, provides a tamper-proof data structure for virtual transactions. The technology, mainly behind Bitcoin, is now used in wide-range applications.

China will see a five-year annual growth rate of 95 percent, compared with about 81 percent growth worldwide, said IDC in the report, the first blockchain report released by the company.

In 2018, blockchain spending in Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) will hit US$281.69 million, almost double the 2017 level. The spending will grow at 90.7 percent over the 2016-2021 period, faster than the projected worldwide growth of 81.2 percent, said IDC. 

For example, PPDai, China’s first online P2P (peer-to-peer) lending platform listed in the US market, said in January it would invest 1 billion yuan (US$156 million) within three years to set up a new research institute. It mainly covers sectors including artificial intelligence and blockchain, said the Shanghai-based firm.

Some Chinese listed firms also see price surge last month after announcing expansion plans on blockchain technology. It has boosted awareness and development of the new technology in the country.

Many of the use cases are coming from the financial services industry while strong acceptance is seen across the entire supply chain, from food provenance to logistics, analysts said.

Much of the work is in its early stage as evidenced by “the proof-of-concept projects” amongst organizations and governments in the region, said IDC.

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