The Utilization of Web3 Native Resources to Create a Centralized Base of Authoritarian Power

This Argument appears in vol. 75, no. 1, "Insecurities: The 75th Anniversary Issue, 1947-2022" (Fall/Winter 2022).

By Hugh Harsono

The ever-constant evolution of technology in the modern era has resulted in the growth of Web3, with the promise of Web3 being its vision to offer decentralization away from any centralized authority by displacing governments and traditional institutions from being the only power-holding entities within society. This next generation of the internet promises increased ownership, resistance to censorship, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and much more. However, some of the very tools that Web3 purports to enable such as decentralization are instead being utilized to create centralized bases of authoritarian power, with this phenomenon being seen primarily in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Within China, Web3-native tools like blockchain distributed ledger technology and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are being utilized to consolidate power into the government’s hands, with this being the complete antithesis of Web3 itself. The PRC’s ability to leverage and co-opt these digital tools to create its own vision of Web3, doing so under the generally positive auspices of Web3, will increase governmental control over Chinese citizens, and potentially, other countries’ populations as well. Therefore, individuals must understand the purported benefits of Web3-native tools in order to contrast them against government-exclusive implementation of such tools. This understanding will enable a discerning audience to recognize how Web3-native resources like blockchain and digital currencies might be used to create centralized bases of authoritarian power. This also highlights the importance of digital infrastructure sovereignty for nation-states, with an overreliance on foreign-developed tools tying directly into the example of the PRC’s vision of Web3, exemplifying a potentially dystopian digital future.


Technology has evolved greatly throughout time, with each specific piece of technology being born out of a specific purpose. From the evolution of books to iPads, or from precious metals to digital currencies today, the benefits of technological evolution help to better iterate each specific technology from one lifecycle to the next. The evolution of the World Wide Web truly helped revolutionize the way information is communicated throughout the globe, creating a whole new outlook for how people view and interact with one another.

The world of Web3, which has become a catch-all term for the next evolution of the Internet, promises even more for individuals in the digital age. The ability to have a more decentralized internet experience, the chance to participate in self-governance mechanisms like decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and the truly near-instantaneous nature of blockchain immutability for transaction verification are just some of the few promises that Web3 can provide. Further benefits include increased financial inclusion to traditionally unbanked populations, access to digitally-enabled tools and resources, and much more.

However, in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the reality of Web3 may be significantly different from what the rest of the world envisions Web3 to be. The Chinese government has always kept a firm grip on the internet’s capabilities, with the PRC’s notorious “Great Firewall” helping to censor the Internet while conducting surveillance on users within China and throughout the world.[1] This has provided the Chinese government a head start in curbing activities in the Web3 world. The case studies of the Blockchain Service Network (BSN) and the digital yuan central bank digital currency (CBDC) serve to highlight how Web3-native resources are being leveraged for increasing control of Chinese citizens and others, despite the promised benefits of Web3 that such technologies offer. These case-studies will help provide a glimpse into a PRC vision of Web3, a system that exercises increasing authoritarian control over individuals and groups that disagree with any belief core to the Chinese government.

Web3 in China

The Internet in China has long been defined by the Great Firewall, the combination of both legislative policies and technologies to regulate the Internet domestically. This has resulted in a significant preference for domestically-based companies for a long period of time, with international companies like Google, LinkedIn, and Yahoo pulling their services due to censorship concerns that have resulted in an “increasingly challenging business and legal environment” in years past.[2]

The domestic control that the PRC has wielded over Web2, the current generation of the internet, resulted in the Web3 movement in China gaining significant momentum early-on, with this being most clearly exemplified through China’s previous status as the world’s biggest crypto mining hub. Individuals and groups within the PRC accounted for nearly 75% of the total processing power of the Bitcoin network at its peak.[3] While popular demand among private citizens for Web3 tools and its associated apps continues to rise even to this day, the Chinese government has also embraced opportunities to participate in Web3, albeit only under its own terms, much akin to the way the Great Firewall creates the PRC’s vision of Web2.

This determination to shape Web3 into a tool to benefit the Chinese government can be seen early on in the PRC’s first official document on blockchain technology, released in October 2016,[4] which was published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. This whitepaper specifically highlighted a distinct need to standardize blockchain terminologies and information security. This paper was followed by another released three years later, in January 2019, by the Cyberspace Administration of China, which is the central internet regulatory and control agency for the PRC. The setting of clear standards by PRC organizations already familiar with Internet control is a clear highlighting of the PRC desire to shape the way that Chinese citizens interact with Web3.

The Cyberspace Administration of China’s Blockchain information Management Regulations laid out basic content and registration rules for organizations offering blockchain functionality as a service. The Blockchain Service Network (BSN) officially launched in April 2020,[5] playing a critical role in centralizing blockchain infrastructure within China, and potentially abroad, by placing previous legislative and policy-oriented actions directly into practice. Just one year later, the PRC banned cryptocurrency usage and mining in September 2021.[6] However, further examples of blockchain development under the PRC’s conditionality took place in December 2021, when PRC officials released a shortlist of blockchain-based pilot units to start practical trials in sectors ranging from manufacturing to energy and also to finance.[7] This indication to participate in an exclusively PRC-centered vision of Web3 becomes clear through these actions.

The internal standardization of blockchain-based practices relating to Web3 development can also be seen in the example of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NFTs, popularized through art collectibles such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks,[8] have also gained popularity in China, in parallel to the rest of the world, though interestingly enough not under the moniker of “NFTs”. Instead, the term “NFT” itself has become implicitly banned in China, with He Yifan, the CEO of BSN’s technical architect Red Date Technology, stating in October 2021 that the BSN’s version of an NFT, termed “Distributed Digital Certificate” (DCC), is “almost the only way to access Chinese markets that complies with local regulations,”[9] highlighting the impending legal and regulatory framework supporting a Chinese version and definition of an NFT. He’s statement on digital collectibles follows the general sentiment of the PRC when it comes to the traditional Web3 definition of NFTs, with PRC state media specifically criticizing NFTs as an emerging technology,[10] including statements released in September 2021 to this effect aligning with the timing of the PRC’s cryptocurrency ban.[11] The implicit bias against the world’s definition of an “NFT” and in favor of the PRC’s vision of an NFT has even come to a head in private enterprises, with technology conglomerates like Alibaba and Tencent actively refusing to utilize the term “NFT” and instead re-terming their NFT projects to be known as “digital collectibles.”[12]

In this example, NFTs can provide an excellent use-case demonstrating the PRC’s interest in creating a Web3 in its own vision, with the PRC refusing to utilize the term NFT and instead utilizing the monikers of “digital collectibles” and “DCC.” This highlights how the PRC is still keen in creating Web3 in its own view, with the PRC rejecting the internationally-recognized definition of an “NFT” and simply relabeling the NFT concept into its own terms, establishing itself as the standard terminology setter within China. Rejecting the term “NFT” also serves as a rejection of “Western” international standards. In conclusion, the PRC has a very specific vision of Web3, with blockchain, NFTs, CBDCs, and other technologies paving the way for the PRC to implement this perspective on the digital future.

China’s Blockchain-based Service Network

The Blockchain-based Service Network’s self-stated objective is to be a “cross-cloud, cross-portal, cross-framework global infrastructure network used to deploy and operate all types of blockchain applications.”[13] Understanding the BSN, its potential value proposition, and its role in China’s technology stack will enable a more cohesive view of how the BSN structures how Web3-native resources like blockchain can be used to create a centralized base of authoritarian power.

The BSN’s Origins

A blockchain functions as a shared and unchangeable digital record of all transactions.[14] When a transaction is recorded on a blockchain, it is time stamped and encrypted onto a “block.” These blocks are put together into an infinite virtual “chain,” with the blockchain being duplicated across different nodes, making them immutable to change. “Nodes” are the computers in a network that make full copies of the entire blockchain, ensuring that a change in a block can be caught and verified by other nodes.

Blockchains form the underlying layer of Web3 technologies like cryptocurrencies, although blockchains have also been used for different applications, including supply chain traceability, real estate transactions, and much more. The value of utilizing blockchain is that recordkeeping becomes transparent, with information previously held in walled-off databases now being publicly accessible to shared networks. There are many different blockchains currently in existence, the most notable being Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana. Developers are often incentivized to build upon a specific blockchain based on that blockchain’s popularity, cost, and other factors.

The BSN is an infrastructure initiative aimed at bringing blockchain development capabilities to the masses within China and throughout the rest of the world. The BSN’s key value proposition is that it can significantly decrease the cost of building a blockchain-based application, while also ensuring compliance to current PRC technological standards.

Red Date Technology, the technical architect firm behind the BSN, was founded in September 2014 by He Yifan.[15] Red Date was initially focused on developing smart city infrastructure applications, with one of Red Date’s earlier projects being the development of a digital citizen card application for the Zhangjiakou government, located in Hebei Province. The application provided residents with online payment of utility bills, digital recordkeeping, and virtual access to government services.[16]

Since that time, Red Date has pivoted to being a blockchain service purveyor within China, officially announcing the BSN in October 2019 and featuring participation from six dominant entities: the State Information Center (SIC), China Mobile, UnionPay, Red Date Technology, Smart Government, and China Mobile’s Design Institute (CMDI) subsidiary.[17] The SIC is a PRC policy-focused think tank, China Mobile is a telecommunications-focused state-owned enterprise (SOE), and UnionPay is China’s largest bank card issuer. These partners offer strategic insight into the PRC’s vision for the BSN, with policy, telecommunications, and financial services undoubtedly being the targeted cornerstones of the BSN, under the control of the PRC.

Defining the BSN

The BSN uses a homegrown blockchain platform known as FISCO BCOS, which is the first open-source consortium blockchain platform built in China.[18] FISCO BCOS was developed by teams from Beyondsoft, Digital China, Forms Syntron, Huawei, Shenzhen Securities Communications, Tencent, WeBank, and others. The different vertical industries that these companies participate in showcase FISCO BCOs’ wide applicability, with this extending to the BSN’s leverage of this specific blockchain platform.[19] This consortium blockchain model for consensus best represents a permissioned blockchain, with a permissioned blockchain being a closed network with limited decentralization, that is, utilizing specific nodes to validate transactions.

The BSN’s key value proposition of competing on price and ease-of-use is accomplished through public city nodes (PCNs). In a traditional blockchain, nodes are computers within a blockchain’s network that can help duplicate the blockchain and ensure the blockchain’s immutability. In the BSN, PCNs play a core role as virtual data centers with blockchain operating environments that are local to a geographic area. These virtual data centers are often based in city governments within China’s various provinces. In the BSN’s case, these PCNs are cloud providers that install the BSN’s software, enabling the BSN to leverage the PCN to conduct on-chain operations. In each PCN, the cloud provider allocates cloud resources to the BSN, with enterprise and individual-level developers purchasing said resources.[20] Therefore, participants can enter through their local city node gateway, with all applications in a specific PCN sharing the same resources. In this scenario, the BSN automatically allocates computing functions to ensure proper resource distribution between PCNs and developers. In a traditional blockchain environment, a developer is responsible for identifying their own resources; in this case, the BSN simplifies this process immensely for developers in China.

BSN portals are also a critical part of the BSN’s overall value proposition, with BSN portals offering a point of on-ramping for developers to purchase BSN resources to develop their own blockchain applications. In this case, these portals function as a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform, providing developers with third-party cloud-based infrastructure, management, and tools for their own development of applications.[21]

Moreover, the BSN is the creator of the concept of open permissioned blockchains (OPB), a hybrid blockchain that combines both public and permissioned systems. According to the BSN, the OPB “adapts public chains to allow permissioned controls over node deployment while allowing payments to be made fiat rather than cryptocurrencies.”[22] Through the OPB, the BSN is the approval authority to allow individuals to join the network, meeting PRC compliance standards, while also removing cryptocurrencies from being needed for transactions. This is essential for the BSN’s version of NFTs, in the PRC known as DCCs, particularly due to the PRC’s existing ban on cryptocurrencies.[23]

In short, the BSN is simplifying and providing the critical infrastructure around establishing a blockchain application to individual and enterprise developers within China, and potentially beyond. The BSN acts as a one-stop shop for developers seeking to build on the blockchain, with the BSN domestically leveraging cloud services from China Mobile, China Telecom, and Baidu AI Cloud to enable its systems and operations.[24] The BSN’s current potential rivals include Western players like Google and Amazon, as well as smaller companies like TosDis, but so far none of these Western competitors have the same reach and simplicity of the BSN.

What Can the BSN be Used for?

The BSN’s low cost and ease-of-use, achieved by leveraging existing cloud service providers that are more favorably geographically-oriented, has significant implications for further use-cases. One primary use-case of the BSN is to bridge payments between different digital entities through the establishment of a universal digital payment network (UDPN), supporting the People’s Bank of China’s digital yuan. However, a secondary use-case for the BSN could be to enable greater digital surveillance of China’s population by domestic intelligence services.

In January 2021, the BSN revealed its plans to create a UDPN by 2026, with this UDPN helping to connect international funds movements and span central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).[25] The UPDN is aimed at connecting different CBDCs through international banks and technology companies, with different companies utilizing the BSN and the UDPN to conduct standardized digital currency transfers and payment processes. In this framework, UDPN is positioned primarily to target consumers en masse.

The development of the UDPN builds upon existing Chinese work focusing on launching the e-CNY, the PRC’s own digital currency. The digital yuan has seen increased adoption by the Chinese population, with nearly 20% of all Chinese adults reportedly having downloaded the official e-CNY app[26] since the People’s Bank of China’s big push for adoption during the February 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.[27] Additionally, the UDPN solves interoperability challenges between different CBDCs, something that the PRC has solved in parallel in the private industry by ensuring interoperability between Alipay and WeChat Pay via the digital yuan.[28]

On a more macro scale, the BSN could offer unparalleled surveillance capabilities for PRC officials to monitor China’s population, shaping the way consumers transact in and interact with the future world of Web3. This is an extension of current domestic and international PRC surveillance efforts, with the most well-known initiative being the PRC’s social credit system, which has received significant coverage of enforcement over what is defined as “correct” actions aligned with the PRC’s vision.[29]

The PRC’s model of censorship and domestic surveillance has best been exemplified most recently through the September 2021 campaign to encourage masculinity while simultaneously banning “effeminate men” from appearing on national television in China.[30] Communities unaligned with the PRC’s specific social preferences have previously found refuge and an opportunity to express their views via the Internet and in other forms of digital media.[31] However, crackdowns on groups such as China’s queer communities would be non-existent if the PRC more fully controlled the Internet to begin with, making this specific part of the PRC’s Web3 vision clear: the PRC will not tolerate the very expressionism that Web3 seeks to create within society unless it aligns with the PRC’s norms. The BSN offers the PRC government this opportunity for increased censorship and improved control capability development in the world of Web3, with the underlying state of blockchain being exclusively dependent on PRC entities for market participation.

In the short-term, the BSN can be utilized to solve challenges that can help smooth the transition into the Web3 universe, with a tool like the UDPN being able to increase cross-border trade by removing friction from the international trade process. However, the long-term vision for the BSN to shape the way blockchain is utilized within and outside of China is particularly troubling, due to the BSN’s unique application of blockchain, among other digital technologies.

The Digital Yuan

Many governments around the globe have been exploring self-backed digital currencies, with some potential options for development being central bank digital currency (CBDC) systems. These forms of money range from being a true blockchain-based digital currency to simply mimicking fiat currencies, albeit in digital form, with those proposed currencies being issued and regulated by that specific country or region’s central monetary authority. CBDCs have a variety of benefits that come with proposed implementation, such as increasing public access to legal tender in the eventual phase-out of physical currency, improved efficiency of payment systems, and refined international business collaboration.[32] While the digital yuan promises many of these features, the digital yuan is in fact a byproduct of the PRC’s efforts to convert a Web3 resource like a CBDC into another form of centralized and authoritarian governance over its own population and others.

What is the Digital Yuan?

The digital yuan, also known as the e-CNY, is a CBDC that has been in development since 2014, when the People’s Bank of China first established a task force to explore a digital currency.[33] Since that time, the digital yuan has been rolled out, first through an original pilot phase immediately preceding the start of the 2022 Olympics. As a result, the e-CNY app launched in January 2021.[34] Since then, transactions for the digital yuan have surpassed 100 billion yuan, as of August 2022,[35] with the e-CNY being used predominantly for domestic payments within China. However, tests for utilizing the digital yuan for cross-border use-cases have occurred through the Bank of International Settlement’s multiple Central Bank Digital Currency (mCBDC) Bridge test, with CBDCs flowing between China and Hong Kong, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates in 2022.[36]

While tests for digital yuan usage seem to be trending positively, the digital yuan does have negative qualities. Its primary downside is the lack of competition with other Web3 digital currencies and cryptocurrencies, owing to the PRC’s September 2021 ban on the usage of all cryptocurrency activity and mining.[37] Additionally, the digital yuan is not based on distributed ledger technology like other digital currencies are, with the term “digital” in this context merely referring to the Internet-based transfer of money, as opposed to the blockchain-based technology layer that forms the backbone of other digital currencies. While this may not necessarily be negative on its face, the lack of alternatives to the PRC’s systems highlights the desire to instantiate a vision of Web3 according to PRC standards, deviating from the decentralized and community-driven norms that Web3 can provide its users elsewhere in the world.

What Could the Digital Yuan be Used for in Traditional Finance?

The PRC has previously utilized monetary policy tools such as currency devaluation to ensure its competitive trade advantage. The implementation of the digital yuan to conduct similar actions would result in a more efficient and near-instantaneous ability to conduct similar economic movements. In turn, this would result in different global economics bearing the full brunt of such a potential shock to global economies if a digital yuan devaluation should occur.

Given China’s status as one of the world’s largest economies and exporter of goods, previous yuan devaluations such as the one that occurred in 2015 resulted in Chinese-produced goods suddenly being cheaper when compared to those of other economies.[38] If repeated again, albeit in a digital form, this would disrupt the value of other countries’ currencies, with a digital yuan being able to significantly impact the preeminence of the American dollar if utilized in such a fashion. While other countries may have been able to similarly devalue their own currencies to absorb the initial economic shock, the long-term implications of the ability to conduct monetary policy in such a fashion have severe potential costs for smaller countries that have primarily export-driven economics. These countries would be forced to compete with Chinese goods that are instantaneously and artificially cheaper thanks to the digital yuan’s devaluation, putting them at a disadvantage on global markets.

Previous devaluations of the yuan have also resulted in a variety of second- and third-order effects, with many of these actions observed in growth industries such as manufacturing, energy, and others. In the case of the 2015 devaluation, manufacturers of goods in developing countries such as India suffered in just several days due to the competitive advantage that Chinese goods now possessed, while the price of crude oil fell significantly owing to China’s status as the world’s largest energy consumer during that time period.[39]

Furthermore, the ability to inflate or deflate the value of the digital yuan instantly—rather than global macroeconomic changes taking place over a number of weeks—would increase the digital yuan’s power over other digital currencies, potentially shaping the global digital currency market in the digital yuan’s favor. The possibility of eliminating competing digital currencies in any form highlights the strict control the PRC wishes to have over its digital yuan. Therefore, the full implementation of a homegrown CBDC would only serve to strengthen the PRC’s development of a global surveillance state, with the PRC able to better understand other nations’ response to significant economic shocks for future policy implications, if tested through the digital yuan. This would result in a PRC able to manipulate global markets through specialized targeting, be it through industry-specific disruption or general exercises of domestic monetary policies aimed at influencing global economies.

What Else Could the Digital Yuan Help Enable?

The digital yuan could also enable threat actors seeking to subvert the global world order to evade sanctions efforts. The digital yuan’s function as a trusted transaction medium would play an important role in this regard, helping those threat actors to pay for illicit goods or activities without a truly traceable way to hold such actors accountable.

With American sanctions affecting countries deemed risks to national security, the PRC has immense potential to gain from access and placement in other countries that pose significant threats to global security. China’s predominately state-owned banking structure has previously been used to funnel money to state actors including North Korea and Iran,[40] as well as non-state threat actors such as the United Wa State Army in Myanmar.[41] These cases represent just some of the known instances of China’s financial infrastructure supporting threat actors, with the full cross-border implementation of a digital yuan furthering such efforts. Therefore, the full implementation of a digital yuan on a global level would serve only to further ease such money laundering efforts between different threat actors and states, with the PRC acting as the facilitator for such transactions.

When combined with China’s expansive Belt and Road Initiative, an ability to evade international law enforcement creates immense potential for the PRC to influence countries from a military, infrastructure, and economic lens, among many others. The ability to evade sanctions and launder money is particularly important for threat actors like North Korea and Iran. This ability to evade law enforcement by transacting strictly through the digital yuan offers the PRC increased surveillance opportunities on other nations around the world, threat actor or not.

All told, the utilization of the digital yuan highlights its ability to be used to help shape the way that Web3 grows within China, and potentially, throughout the world. While privacy expectations for a centrally-controlled currency must be managed to include the efforts of governments to implement Know-Your-Customer and Anti-Money Laundering measures, the digital yuan’s lack of emphasis on blockchain encryption or data privacy models points significantly to the digital yuan being nothing more than a digital tracking mechanism for PRC-backed entities. Activities like yuan currency devaluation and sanction evasion can also be imagined owing to further growth in usage of the e-CNY. Therefore, despite the value proposition of the digital yuan enabling a more effective, and henceforth, growth-driven Chinese economy, the digital yuan’s uncontested rise to become China’s only digital currency highlights the way that the digital yuan will be utilized in the future of Web3.

The PRC’s Vision for Web3

The PRC has a very specific vision for how China is presented politically, economically, socially, and now digitally, in the world. Yet, the PRC’s authoritarian style of governance is particularly concerning as it is currently applied to the world of Web3. Gaming offers an interesting bridge between the current state of the internet and Web3, while examining the use-case of gaming illustrates just one example of how the PRC will shape Web3 to be strictly within its vision.

In April 2022, the PRC banned the live-streaming of “unauthorized” video games,[42] with this following an August 2021 announcement of the PRC banning teenagers from playing video games for more than three hours per week. PRC officials made this announcement under the auspices of combatting gaming addiction.[43] In this case, the regulation of a traditionally-decentralized ecosystem, like that of gaming, was dramatically increased to the point where users would most likely become discouraged to participate within it. This example depicts the approach the Chinese government has taken and is likely to continue to take in regulating individual actions in Web3.

Therefore, it has become clear that while the PRC wishes to participate in a world of Web3 technologies, it will only do so in its own vision of the digital future. Emerging technologies like blockchain and digital currencies will only continue to develop further on a technological level, scaling through increasingly-fast adoption throughout the world. However, the PRC’s need to exercise its authoritarian form of governance contrasts with the increasing freedoms that Web3 provides, thus necessitating PRC control and a rebranding of nearly all things Web3 so that its people may still participate in a digital future—all for political and economic gain, albeit under its own conditions.


The PRC’s authoritarian style of leadership shed light on its implementation of Web3, with the PRC adopting a governance approach like its Web2-based actions for the digital future. While the PRC was able to institute technological safeguards built on top of the previous iteration of the Internet through tools like the Great Firewall, controlling the underlying basis for what forms Web3 would allow it even greater control and surveillance over its own population, and, potentially, to other international actors as well.

Web3-native infrastructure such as the Blockchain-based Service Network and the digital yuan both offer the PRC this chance to truly control and centralize web development, by essentially controlling two of the key pillars of Web3 itself: the blockchain and digital payments. By mandating usage of the BSN and the digital yuan exclusively within China, the PRC is becoming a de-facto approval authority of what is developed on the blockchain and how it is used, in addition to other methods of influence the PRC has the ability to leverage once it tightens its stranglehold on these technologies.

While this conflicts with the original principles of Web3 in particular and decentralization in general, the PRC’s capacity to carry out such an effort is an astonishing feat, and its early exploration of exercising its authoritarian might through efforts like the BSN and the digital yuan are a foreshadowing of how the PRC will react in the digital world of the future. The BSN’s exportability and the digital yuan’s cross-border appeal compound this possibility, highlighting the critical importance of digital infrastructure sovereignty for other nations. Most seriously, the exportation of these Web3- native resources potentially enables the PRC to further exercise its power projection capabilities beyond its own borders.

[1] Simon Denyer, “China’s Scary Lesson to the wWorld: Censoring the Internet Works,” The Washington Post, May 23, 2016,

[2] Nick Turner, “Yahoo Quits China in Wake of LinkedIn Exit as Media Hurdles,” The New York Times, November 2, 2021,

[3] Ryan Browne, “Bitcoin Production Roars Back in China Despite Beijing’s Ban on Crypto Mining,” CNBC, May 18, 2022,

[4] Samburaj Das, “The Chinese Government Publishes an Official Blockchain Whitepaper,” CCN, March 4, 2021, ttps://

[5] Helen Partz, “China’s Nationwide Blockchain Network BSN Will Launch in April 2020,” Coin Telegraph, January 8, 2020.

[6] Alun John, Samuel Shen, and Tom Wilson, “China’s Top Regulators Ban Crypto Trading and Mining, Sending Bitcoin Tumbling,” Reuters, September 24, 2021.,09-24/.

[7] Global Times Editor, “Shortlist of National Blockchain-based Pilot Units Revealed to Public,” Global Times, December 22, 2021,

[8] Michael Guta, “The Most Popular and Best Selling NFT Collections This Week,” Small Business Trends, June 16, 2022,

[9] Timmy Shen. “China’s state-backed blockchain network plans to launch NFT infrastructure,” Forkast News, October, 29, 2021,

[10] Ningwei Qin, “Another Chinese state-run media outlet faults NFT frenzy,” Forkast News, October 14, 2021,

[11] Wang Junhui, “盲目炒作已将NFT的真正价值带偏 (Blind hype has skewed the true value of NFTs),” Securities Times, September 10, 2021,

[12] Crypto News Editor, “China’s state-backed blockchain network plans to launch NFT infrastructure,” Crypto News, October 29, 2021.

[13] BSN Development Association, “Blockchain-based Service Network: Introduction White Paper,” (Hong Kong, HK: BSN, 2020), 4,

[14] Adam Hayes, “Blockchain Facts: What Is It, How It Works, and How It Can Be Used,” Investopedia, September 27, 2022.

[15] InvestHK, “Red Date Technology Co., Ltd.,” Government of Hong Kong, October 10, 2021, https:// in%20September%202014,%2C%20daily%20operations%2C%20and%20maintenance.

[16] AJ Cortese, “Red Date is lowering the entry point to the blockchain network for SMEs,” KrAsia, April 24, 2021,

[17] Miranda Wood, “China launches national blockchain infrastructure,” Ledger Insights, October 16, 2019,

[18] FISCO BCOS, “FISCO BIOS EN,” Github, January 1, 2019,

[19] FISCO BIOS, 2019.

[20] BSN Development Association, 7.

[21] BSN Development Association, 8.

[22] BSN, “Open Permissioned Blockchain, a Hybrid Blockchain Offers the Best of Public and Private Chains,” Medium, December 29, 2021,,made%20fiat%20rather%20than%20cryptocurrencies.

[23] John, Shen, and Wilson, “China’s Top Regulators Ban Crypto Trading and Mining, Sending Bitcoin Tumbling.”

[24] Mikk Raud, “Knowledge Base: Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN, 区块链服务网络),” DigiChina, July 2, 2021, 7%BB%9C/.

[25] Ledger Insights Editor. “China’s BSN blockchain network plans multinational CBDC pilot this year,” Ledger Insights, January 5, 2021,

[26] Sonnet Frisbie, “Widespread e-CNY Adoption in China Is Coming, Whether Banks and Businesses Like It or Not,” Morning Consult, June 13, 2022,

[27] Joe Light, “China Is Showing Off the Digital Yuan at the Olympics. Can the U.S. Compete?,” Bloomberg, February 15, 2022.

[28] Tim Alper, “WeChat Pay Interoperability is Another Key Breakthrough for Digital Yuan Pilot,” Crypto News, January 6, 2022,

[29] Nicole Kobie, “The Complicated Truth about China’s Social Credit System,” Wired, July 6, 2019,

[30] Josh Elliott, “China bans ‘sissy’ and ‘effeminate’ men under new macho media rules,” Global News, September 3, 2021,

[31] Lavender Au and Weiqi Liu, “China’s queer internet is being erased,” Rest of World, November 30, 2021,

[32] Ola Ward & Sabrina Rochemont, “Understanding Central Bank Digital Currencies,” Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, March 2019.

[33] Working Group on E-CNY Research and Development of the People’s Bank of China, “Progress of Research & Development of E-CNY in China,” People’s Bank of China, July 2021.

[34] Andrew Galbraith and Samuel Shen, “China Central Bank Launches Digital Yuan Wallet Apps for Android, iOS,” Reuters, January 3, 2022,

[35] Jason Xue and Brenda Goh, “China’s Digital Currency Passes 100 bln Yuan in Spending—PBOC,” Reuters, October 12, 2022,

[36] Jason Xue and Brenda Goh, “China Trials Cross-border Settlement Involving Central Bank Digital Currencies,” Reuters, September 29, 2022,

[37] John, Shen, and Wilson, “China’s Top Regulators Ban Crypto Trading and Mining, Sending Bitcoin Tumbling.”

[38] Michael Boyle, “The Impact of China Devaluating the Yuan in 2015,” Investopedia, June 30, 2021,

[39] Boyle, “The Impact of China Devaluating the Yuan in 2015.”

[40] Andrew Lehren and Dan De Luce, “Secret Documents Show How North Korea Launders Money through U.S. Banks,” NBC News, September 20, 2020,

[41] Amit Agrahari, “‘$1.5 billion received from ponzi scheme,’ China funding Myanmar terror group by defrauding its own people,” TFI Post, July 11, 2020,

[42] Sophie Yu and Josh Ye, “In Latest Gaming Crackdown, China Bans Livestreaming of Unauthorised Titles,” Reuters, April 15, 2022.

[43] Brenda Goh, “Three Hours a Week: Play Time’s Over for China’s Young Video Gamers,” Reuters, August 30, 2021,