Members of the US Congress have sponsored a non-partisan bill in the hopes of catching up with China’s blockchain development.
The “American Competitiveness Of A More Productive Emerging Tech Economy Act,” or COMPETE Act for short, is currently being discussed as a way to accelerate blockchain development in the US.
While the rest of the world, including the US, have been somewhat cautious, China has jumped in both feet first. As a result, it’s streets ahead of the pack in terms of national infrastructure development.
The most prominent example is perhaps the Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN). This intends to help small and medium-sized businesses build and deploy applications on the state-sponsored network.
What’s more, the BSN is capable of integrating with developers outside of China, including public networks.
There are plans to integrate between 30-40 public chains by June 2021. So far, Ethereum, EOS, and NEO have declared their interest.
Also, the imminent rollout of the digital yuan shows just how far ahead China is, compared to the US, when it comes to development.
With that, some would argue that the COMPETE Act is long overdue.
China Says Yes to Blockchain
The pace of China’s blockchain development is no accident. Last year, President Xi Jinping gave a speech in which he endorsed blockchain technology. With that, he set out the goal for China to become the world leader in blockchain technology.
“We must take the blockchain as an important breakthrough for independent innovation of core technologies. We must clarify the main direction, increase investment, focus on a number of key core technologies, and accelerate the development of blockchain technology and industrial innovation.”
However, considering the level of development known about, it’s clear that the Chinese Communist Party have been working behind the scenes much longer.
Blockchain is just one component of the technology war with the US; also in the mix is artificial intelligence, mobile networks, quantum computing, and the internet of things.
These are all additional fronts in which tensions with the US lie. But as Jehan Chu, Co-founder of Kenetic Capital, says, blockchain is the foundational piece to it all.
“With President Xi’s backing blockchain, China has unequivocally said that the future foundation of technology is blockchain, and China will be the first nation to the moon.”
Is the COMPETE Act Too Little Too Late?
The COMPETE Act calls for studies across the range of emerging technologies mentioned above. The Act also makes a number of recommendations designed to challenge China’s overall dominance of technology development:
- acceleration of blockchain development in the US
- a national strategy to advance US emerging tech businesses
- legislation to improve adoption of emerging tech
- secure marketplace from non-US entities
With that, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers said, when it comes to emerging tech, the US has lost much ground to China. She highlighted instances of unfair play, in particular, mentioning intellectual property theft.
“As we have seen in past global crises and in recent months, the Chinese Communist Party will do whatever it takes to get ahead by stealing, cheating, and subsidizing their State-Owned Enterprises. We cannot out subsidize China or beat them at their own game, nor should we.”
However, while the US is now talking about a national emerging tech strategy, China is deep in practical developments.
As such, perhaps this is one the US left too late.