China’s centralized blockchains couldn’t be any farther from Bitcoin’s. Designed for maximum control, they will become tools for improved surveillance and social engineering.
On October 24, 2019, President Xi Jinping gave a major speech about how China is going to make blockchain technology a national priority. He said China would “take the leading position in the emerging field of blockchain” and explore its use “in people’s daily life.” China’s most-watched daily news show covered the speech in primetime, and the next day, the People’s Daily propaganda newspaper ran a front-page story on Xi and blockchain. Searches for “blockchain” on China’s most popular browser Baidu rose 200 percent.