China Sees Ethereum as Best Blockchain Network, Rates Bitcoin Mediocre


Ethereum is the best blockchain network in the cryptocurrency world, according to the rankings based on the Global Public Chain Assessment Index released by the Chinese government on May 17.

The first monthly Index rated 28 blockchain projects available in the public sphere. According to the China Center for Information Industry Development (CCID), the projects were evaluated based on their technological capability, usefulness, and innovativeness.

The CCID is the research arm of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Chinese agency responsible for development and regulation of technology.

Blockchain, not to be mistaken with cryptocurrencies, is a public database verified and maintained by a network of computers called nodes.

Ethereum 1st, Bitcoin 13th

The ranking placed Ethereum (ETH) at the top of other blockchains. The smart contracts network placed second in the Technology sub-index only behind Steem (STEEM), a rewards platform for content publishers. Ethereum also placed second in Application behind NEO (NEO), dubbed the ‘Chinese Ethereum.’

The Ethereum network is home to many crypto tokens, including EOS (EOS) and TRON (TRX). On the cryptocurrency market, Ethereum’s Ether is the second largest based on market capitalization.

Bitcoin (BTC), on the other hand, was ranked only 13th. The largest cryptocurrency, both in price and in market cap, fell behind other cryptos like IOTA (MIOTA) and Monero (XMR). Bitcoin was unsurprisingly ranked first in terms of Innovation, given that Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to run on a blockchain. But the coin’s failure to evolve placed Bitcoin in the bottom half of the Technology sub-index.

Bitcoin is considered as the first cryptocurrency, envisioned by developer Satoshi Nakamoto to become an electronic peer-to-peer electronic cash system. The virtual coin rose to prominence last year, valued as much as US$19,500 before crashing back down.

Analysts warned that the ranking released by China, a one-party State, may be tainted with bias and is less objective. Investors and observers were left perplexed as to how Bitcoin was ranked besides Verge (XVG), a cryptocurrency focused on making transactions anonymous. Joseph Young, contributing writer for the Forbes, said:

“China ranks Ethereum as the #1 blockchain. Bitcoin is ranked at #13, same as Verge. But when an organization says bitcoin is in the same ranking as Verge, you know [it is] highly incompetent.”

However, other analysts noted that the inclusion of public blockchain networks was a sign that the government, notorious for its surveillance and espionage programs, intended the ranking to remain objective.

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Coins Out, Blockchain In

Cryptocurrency transactions remain banned in the Chinese region.

In 2017, the Chinese government has banned initial coin offerings, a way of raising money by issuing tokens. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) said:

“[Virtual currencies] not issued by the monetary authorities… do not have legal status equivalent to money, and can not and should not be circulated as a currency in the market use. [Any] so-called tokens financing trading platform shall not engage in the exchange of legal currency and tokens.”

China, known for their censor-happy Great Firewall, has blocked websites offering cryptocurrency trading and ICOs. To prevent people from just jumping over the Great Firewall, the country has also banned the use of virtual private networks (VPN). An article on the Financial News, a news publication affiliated to the PBoC, wrote:

“To prevent financial risks, China will step up measures to remove any onshore or offshore platforms related to virtual currency trading or ICOs. ICOs and virtual currency trading did not completely withdraw from China following the official ban… after the closure of domestic virtual currency exchanges, many people turned to overseas platforms to continue participating in virtual currency transactions.”

On the other hand, China is embracing the blockchain technology behind cryptos. In fact, the state has invested into different blockchain-related projects.

According to China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), as part of state development, the government will provide support to new technologies including blockchain technology. A master plan for the Xiongan megacity, written under direct orders from Pres. Xi Jinping, included the use of blockchain in developing the city. Another city, Shenzhen, has started a large fund intended for blockchain investments.

Katt Gu, the managing director at blockchain projects incubator iBlock, was quoted saying:

“Those… initiatives imply that more local governments in China are paying attention to blockchain technology.”

The blockchain projects ranking by the Chinese government was considered by analysts as another sign that the Asian state wants to lead in developing the promising blockchain technology.

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World’s Top Blockchain Networks by China

The 28 blockchains rated by the CCID, ranked according to Global Public Chain Assessment Index:

  1. Ethereum (ETH)
  2. Steem (STEEM)
  3. Lisk (LSK)
  4. NEO (NEO)
  5. Komodo (KMD)
  6. Stellar (XLM)
  7. Cardano (ADA)
  8. IOTA (MIOTA)
  9. Monero (XMR)
  10. Stratis (STRAT)
  11. Qtum (QTUM)
  12. BitShares (BTS)
  13. Bitcoin (BTC)
  14. Verge (XVG)
  15. Waves (WAVES)

16-28. ETC, XRP, DASH, SC, BCN, LTC, ARK, ZEC, NANO, BCH, DCR, HSR, XEM

The CCID is scheduled to release updated rankings every month.